The World-Wide Augmentative and Alternative Communication (WWAAC) project is a pan-european initiative to make web and email-based technology more accessible to people with communication, language and/or cognitive impairment. Both the world-wide-Internet and organisation-wide-Intranets currently require the user's ability to use text (traditional orthography). Without reading and/or writing text, correctly spelling email addresses etc., none of these Information Technology services widely available in our society can be used without adaptation. The situation is particularly difficult and poorly supported for AAC-users: persons with multiple impairment, caused by congenital or acquired brain injury, including deficits in: impressive and/or expressive language, motor function (including speech), perception (interpretation and integration of sensory input), concentration and orientation, memory and general cognitive capacity.
Source: Corporate website
The WWAAC aimed at developing software tools and products that substantially improve the access to Internet services for this group of people, with a specific focus on language and communication. In the context of these users and in close co-operation with a wide but carefully selected user base, the project has addressed the development and early implementation of:
- Preliminary standards for syntax and semantic text/message encoding.
- Tools for text support: ie message conversion between symbols and symbols and symbols & text, with speech output.
- Tools for task support, ie for web browsing and mail box handling.
- Guidelines and tools for information presentation on the web for the target groups mentioned above.
Next to existing knowledge and technology from a range of related projects, substantial innovative technology development and a limited amount of applied research contributed to the development of commercially attractive and close-to-market products. Standards are proposed in co-operation with W3C, WAI, ISO, European ICT and Nordic bodies for standardisation in the field.
Project co-ordinator: Handicom Oranjelaan 29 3843 AA Harderwijk
Project co-ordinator: Voice: +31 341 412629 Fax: +31 341 430602