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Enhanced Network Accessibility for the Blind and Visually Impaired (ENABLED)

Principal researcher

Name: Wai Yu

Contact details: Queen's University of Belfast, Virtual Engineering Centre, University Road, Belfast BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland.
Tel: +44 2890 974 781; Fax: +44 2890 974 332
Email: info@enabledweb.org

Website: www.enabledweb.org

Project details

Start date: 01/09/2004
End date: 31/10/2007

Description: The continuing growth of broadband multimedia networks in Europe has an ever-increasing impact on people's lives. Information can be accessed remotely and in the comfort of people's own home; people can interact with friends and family via email, instant chat or Voice over IP; services such as online shopping, paying bills and "distance learning" are now offered to the public. However, people who are visually impaired, or who have other forms of disability are, in many cases, not able to take full advantage of all these integrated computing and telecommunications services (ICT) facilities. This is primarily due to the inaccessibility to this user-group of the visual based content being offered by ICT products and services. The ENABLED project is researching the network aspects of this particular form of the "Digital divide" by providing accessible map information and using the capability of fixed mobile convergence in networks to support the mobility of visually impaired people. The ENABLED project, has therefore allocated its effort to two specific tasks: (1) Developing technologies that create accessible graphical content on broadband multimedia networks, primarily concerning indoor and outdoor maps; (2) Developing "ubiquitous" tools that enable easy access to the map information, and interfaces that are adaptable and interoperable no matter where the users are and what equipment they are using. To achieve these objectives, research and development work will be focused on three supporting tools: (1) an annotation tool for audio and haptic map representations; (2) adaptable interfaces for exploration of maps and route-planning; (3) a navigation aid provided through wireless networks.

Other organisations involved in this project

British Telecommunications Plc (BT), UK

CAS Software AG (CAS), Germany

Commissariat à l'énergie atomique (CEA LIST), France

F.H.Papenmeier GmbH & Co KG (FHP), Germany

Fundación LABEIN (LABEIN), Spain

Kuratorium OFFIS e.V. (OFFIS), Germany

Lund Universitet (ULUND), Sweden

NetUnion (NU), Switzerland

Scalab New Technology, Italy

Siemens Business Services GmbH & Co. OHG (SBS), Germany

Soluziona Telecomunicaciones (SOL), Spain

Tekever, lda (Tekever), Portugal

Last updated: 21/03/2010