Special Session on the Raising the Floor Project - Monday, August 31st, 14.00 - 15.40 and 16.10 - 17.50. Room E

Chaired by Gregg Vanderheiden, Trace R&D Center at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA

This interactive session will describe this new international initiative to build access directly into the worlds information infrastructure so that anyone, anywhere, can approach any computer or mobile device and be able to access it - regardless of their economic resources. Information and communication technologies are now reaching the point where access to them is no longer optional in more and more countries. Yet the tools that people with disabilities, literacy barriers, or the effects of aging need to use these technologies either don't exist in their language or are too expensive to afford.

Raising the Floor (RtF) is an international coalition of individuals and organizations working to ensure that the Internet is accessible to people experiencing accessibility or literacy problems, even if they have very limited or no financial resources. The goal is to tap the new capabilities of ICT and the Web to ensure that individuals who need special interfaces are as free and able as everyone else to use the new and emerging Internet tools and resources for education, employment and daily living.

This session will include

  • an overview of the mission and goals of the consortium
  • a review the currently identified program areas and projects
  • an overview of collaborating programs in Europe and beyond
  • an open discussion of new and additional ways the consortium might address its goals
  • an opportunity for people interested in this topic to find out how they can contribute and participate

Anyone interested in seeing that those of us with the least resources here and around the world have access to at least basic access technologies are invited to attend and contribute.

For more on Raising the Floor see http://RaisingTheFloor.net/about
or take the interest inventory at http://RaisingTheFloor.net/interest-inventory