Describe the project

The Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) is a cloud-based solution that allows for the creation, discovery and use of one-size-fits-one access to technologies. It is a unique set of tools designed to ensure that everyone who faces accessibility barriers due to disability, literacy, digital literacy and aging can access and use any digital technologies. The GPII addresses three basic needs for universal access to ICTs: finding access solutions if they exist, facilitating the application of alternatives to any technology a person encounters, and making it easier to create and market new accessible products to satisfy unmet needs.

How does the GPII work?

The GPII addresses today´s digital inclusion challenges through a three-pillar infrastructure: the DeveloperSpace, the Unified Listing and the Auto-personalization capability.

What is the DeveloperSpace?

The DeveloperSpace is the first digital hub of its kind, providing tools for all types of accessible ICT technologies, anything with an interface. It provides information on the full process from ideation through development, testing and marketing. It includes tools for both assistive technologies and for creating access features in mainstream technologies. It is a resource for anyone interested in accessibility and a place to come together to find or share tools, ideas, technical components and information to learn about accessible alternatives. It aims to capitalize on the shifting market reality to address unique needs that have little or no economy of scale.

What is the Unified Listing?

The Unified Listing is a federated database of products, features and services for providing access to most any type of information and communication technology (ICT). It brings together information from databases throughout the world into a single place with multiple methods for searching and special features for keeping up to date.   Unlike most accessibility databases, it includes both assistive technologies and access features in mainstream products.

Tell us about the GPII´s auto-personalisation feature

This third pillar of the GPII refers to the personalization of ICT solutions. It takes a person’s needs and preferences and uses them to automatically set up devices and user interfaces to make them usable to the person. When fully implemented, whenever a person encounters information and communication technologies, the interfaces on the devices would instantly change into a form the person can understand and use — without the person having to know or figure out how to set up the product themselves.

Who can benefit from it?

Consumers, AT developers, researchers, public institutions and organizations – as well as mainstream companies wanting to include accessible features in their existing products – can all benefit from the GPII.

What goal are you trying to achieve?

To ensure that everyone can access and use the digital technologies they encounter.   We are quickly making it impossible for people to live, work and participate in our society if they are not able to understand and use digital interfaces.  Yet many can’t.   The goal of the GPII is to help make it possible for society to provide interfaces that can adapt to users of all types, including those who have trouble with digital interfaces due to their disability, literacy, digital literacy or age — so that everyone can participate in our evolving and increasingly digital world.

Tell us about your team

The GPII´s DeveloperSpace is the result of a collective global effort by top researchers, assistive technology experts and companies from Europe, Canada and the United States. It has been built within Prosperity4All, a 4-year EU-funded project which began in February 2014 with the mission to develop the GPII, an initiative led by the non-profit association Raising the Floor International. The project is coordinated by Fraunhofer IAO and has a total of 24 partners from 13 countries, including Ireland.

Who are the leaders of this initiative?

Gregg Vanderheiden is the Technical Coordinator of the project Prosperity4All and the co-founder of Raising the Floor International (RtF-I). in Geneva Switzerland. He is also a Professor and the director of the Trace R&D Center at the University of Maryland. The concept of the GPII was first proposed by Dr Vanderheiden as part of his work on the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Universal Interface and Information Technology Access.

Jutta Treviranus is the Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and co-founder of Raising the Floor (RtF-I). She also leads the Inclusive Design Institute, directs an innovative graduate program in Inclusive Design and is a professor at OCAD University in Toronto. The fundamental principles of the auto-personalization components of the GPII are based on the pioneering work of Prof. Treviranus on personalization done as part of her Web4all, TILE and CulturAll projects, among others.

The project coordinator for Prosperity4all is Matthias Peissner — a leading researcher in adaptive interfaces. He is the director and head of the business area Human-Technology Interaction at the Fraunhofer-Institute for Industrial Engineering (IAO). Fraunhofer is Europe’s largest institution for applied research. In numerous projects, Dr Peissner transfers innovations from research to market.

How do people get in touch with you and know more about your project?

You can find more information on these links to our websites.:

You can also follow us on Twitter @gpiinet, @GPII_DevSpace, @p4allnews

If you would like to have your company featured in the Irish Tech News Business Showcase, get in contact with us at [email protected] or on Twitter: @SimonCocking

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