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Universal Design / Disability Access - for Advanced Computational Infrastructure

Overview
Program Areas
In the News
Selected Publications and Presentations
Contact Information

Overview

The Partnership for Advanced Computational Infrastructure (PACI) program invests in infrastructure development by and for the application of advanced computational techniques. This infrastructure of the next generation Internet is generally called the "Grid," borrowed from the electricity grid, to imply that any compatible device could be plugged in anywhere on the Grid and be guaranteed a certain level of resources, regardless of where those resources might come from. As a result more people will have access to more advanced computational capabilities sooner.

The Universal Design/Disability Access Program (UD/DA) for Advanced Computational Infrastructure project, headquartered at the Trace Center, is part of the Education, Outreach and Training (EOT) thrust area within the PACI program. The Universal Design/Disability Access Program (UD/DA) for Advanced Computational Infrastructure project, headquartered at the Trace Center, contributes to the accelerated development of advanced computational infrastructure in two ways. The first is by assisting the PACI partners in applying Universal Design practices to the systems and technologies they are developing and applying. In FY'03 we are working with the expedition partners for the "Scientific Workspaces of the Future" (SWOF) to better integrate scientists and learners with disabilities into the Access Grid and the SWOF. We are also tying the work of PACI in general and the EOT and SWOF in particular into the external standards work relating to both Grid technologies and accessibility. This involves standardization and dissemination efforts within PACI and beyond.

Program Areas

Currently the UD/DA program can be divided into the following general program areas:

Translation and Modality Transformation on the Grid

This area comprises the exploration of general translation on the Grid as a concept for a variety of network-enabled services on demand, including text to speech, sign language, international language, and language level translation, as well as print recognition and image/video description services. See also Modality Translation Services Program.

Guided by the vision of making these services available for the Access Grid, the scientific tele-collaboration environment of the Grid, we are collaborating with the Alliance Expedition on Scientific Workspaces of the Future (SWOF). One short-term goal is to incorporate a speech to text service into the Access Grid system infrastructure in order to allow participation of individuals with hearing impairments and deafness, as well as to facilitate participation of everyone (noisy environments, poor or lost audio, distracted by side conversation, archiving, indexing and searching of audio portion of interaction, difficulty in following speech due to language differences, etc.). Another short-term goal is to explore barriers to and strategies for participation of individuals with visual impairments in visualization based educational and scientific work spaces.

For the SC2002 conference, Trace provided experimental speech to text service for the plenary sessions.

Standards and Other NII Efforts

This area consists of ongoing work with standard-setting groups that would impact Alliance technologies and efforts in order to maximize the accessibility of the standards, including:

Public and Researcher Awareness

This area supports the EOT-PACI agenda of reaching out through participation in public events, including the annual High Performance Networking and Computing Conference, and All-Hands meetings that gather large numbers of PACI investigators.

We are striving to maximize the awareness of Alliance and other communities to the importance of, opportunities for, and general benefits of increased disability access to evolving information technologies. We are specifically working with the SWOF expedition outreach team to help disseminate information on the Access Grid and its potential for Universal Access.

In the News

Selected Publications and Presentations

Contact Information

For more information about the Universal Design/Disability Access Program, please contact the Trace Center Info Line.