The U.S. Department of Education announced today a $748,126 grant to Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh to develop methods that lead to people with disabilities fully utilizing cloud and Web-based computer services.
Carnegie Mellon intends to focus its efforts on designing systems for people with vision and cognitive disabilities due to that group's familiarity with assistive technology and the aging of the population. This approach is expected to increase adoption by third-party software developers.
"The Internet has become the interstate highway system for communication and ideas," said U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. "All citizens, including those with disabilities, deserve to benefit from the lifelong learning experiences that the Internet offers. These grants help make that possible."
Among the topics that the grant is expected to address:
- How to make content and interactions easier to understand for individuals with disabilities.
- How to make it easier for people with disabilities to log on to the Web.
- How to change the presentation of information on Web pages to respond to difficulties encountered by individuals with disabilities.
- How to make software more easily modifiable to meet individual needs. And,
- How to incorporate specific accessibility features into an inclusive Web infrastructure. Such as, closed captioning, volume control, video description, screen reader technology and accessible user interfaces.
The grant is being awarded by the Education Department's National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research under its Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects – Inclusive Cloud and Web Computing program (CFDA 84.133A-1).