Cloud platforms Lead to Open and Universal access for people with Disabilities and for All
Funding Body: EU
7 F.P. – Collaborative Project (CP)
As we move more inextricably into a digital economy there is a looming crisis for a growing number of increasingly marginalized individuals. The accessibility technologies we have are meeting the needs of only some, at high cost – and will not work with many new technologies. In addition, the pace and path of technological change predestines these approaches to fail in the very near future. At the same time the incidence of disabilities is increasing as our population ages. The same technical advances however hold the key for a radical paradigm shift in our approach to accessibility that can harness the pace of innovation and have it work for us rather than against us. The Cloud4All project taps the unprecedented ability to pool resources and match demand with supply enabled by the Cloud to deliver accessibility to every individual where they need it, when they need it and in a way that matches their unique requirements; automatically so that they do not need to negotiate, explain, qualify or justify. Cloud4All pulls together a large multi-sector international community including stakeholders, industry leaders and experts in emerging technologies to thoughtfully design, research and develop the necessary software infrastructure, pilot implementation and evaluation needed to explore this promising approach to digital inclusion. The project will test this with a wide range of delivery options, contexts and platforms including auto-personalization of different OSs, browsers, phones, web apps, kiosks, ITMs, DTVs, smart homes and assistive technologies (cloud and installed). This approach can enable us to reach the large group of users that do not qualify for or choose not to avail themselves of special services but nonetheless face barriers to access, including individuals with literacy challenges and individuals who are aging. Cloud4All will create a sustainable system that ensures that all individuals can participate in our rapidly advancing digitally enabled society.