The AEGIS (Open Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Standards) project sought to determine whether 3rd generation access techniques would provide a more accessible, more exploitable and deeply embeddable approach in mainstream ICT (desktop, rich Internet and mobile applications). This approach was developed and explored with the Open Accessibility Framework (OAF) through which aspects of the design, development and deployment of accessible mainstream ICT are addressed. The OAF provides embedded and built-in accessibility solutions, as well as toolkits for developers, for “engraving” accessibility in existing and emerging mass-market ICT-based products, thus making accessibility open, plug and play, personalised and configurable, realistic and applicable in various contexts; AEGIS is placing users and their needs at the centre of all ICT developments. Based on a holistic UCD, AEGIS identifies user needs and interaction models for several user groups, (users with visual, hearing, motion, speech and cognitive impairments as well as application developers) and develops open source-based generalised accessibility support into mainstream ICT devices/applications:
- rich web applications, and
- Java-based mobile devices.
What does this involve?
All developments were iteratively tested with a significant number of end users, developers and experts in 3 phases and 4 Pilot sites Europe wide (in Belgium, Spain, Sweden and the UK).
The project included strong industrial and end user participation (the participating industries are among the market leaders in the corresponding mainstream ICT markets). The project results’ uptake were promoted by strong standardisation activities, as well as the fact that much of the technology results was either new open source applications or will be built into existing and already widely adopted open source ICT.
Take a look at the project outcome here.