In November of 2011 the European Commission provided 7 million euros to a consortium of 30 members and collaborators in Europe, Canada, and the US to begin building and testing key components of the GPII. (See also Prosperity4All)
A recent kickoff meeting in Madrid marked the beginning of CLOUD4All, the European Commission funded program to develop a cloud-based accessibility architecture. Cloud4All consists of 30 members and collaborators in Europe, Canada, and the US and aims to build and test key components of the GPII.
We are moving rapidly to a digital economy creating 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 aim and objectives
Cloud4All aims to develop a complete new paradigm in accessibility, by replacing adaptation of individual products and services for a person (2nd generation concept) with automatic-personalisation of any mainstream product or service a user encounters, using cloud technologies to activate and augment any natural (built-in) accessibility the product or service has (3rd generation concept), based on a profile of the user’s needs.
To achieve its goal the project concept is based upon the creation of an explicit and implicit user profile (kept either locally or in the cloud; depending upon user preference), that automatically matches mainstream products and services with necessary access features and configures them according to users preferences and context of use, anywhere (any device the person encounter in any location) on any device (PC, mobile, smartphone, iTV,...), seamlessly and holistically (configuring both content and user interface) including augmenting the accessibility of the product if needed (through special web applications, cloud based AT, cloud based desktops, run without AT installation or with download and AT installation).
To achieve this vision Cloud4all aims at the following general objectives:
- Simple Instant Accessibility for all. To create a world where people with any functional limitation can cause inaccessible information and communication technologies and materials to change into a form they can use, automatically, instantly, WITHOUT needing to understand how to do it themselves.
- Anywhere Any Device Access. To create a world where people can people simply and routinely invoke the access features they need, anywhere, on any device or material they encounter.
- Supply & Demand Better Connected. To create a world where developers and users can more easily find each other
- Affordable method for offering diversity needed. To create a world where Schools and public access points and employers can reasonably and affordably address the full diversity of the needs that their patrons/students/employees have.
- Move GPII toward reality. To move the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure concept forward from papers and conference proceedings and close enough to implementation that the investment will be made to change it from concept to reality.
GPII & Cloud4All
The Cloud4All project aims to implement and test some of the GPII key components. In the below image are shown all the components of the GPII. Those marked with a thick black frame are those implemented by Cloud4All.