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EU Helps People With Disabilities Find Assistive Technology

ATIS4all portal compiles information about technology that helps people with disabilities and the elderly participate more fully in life.

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The European Union has launched a free online resource to help people with disabilities and the elderly find relevant assistive technology (AT) aids. The portal, ATIS4All, short for Assistive Technologies and Inclusive Solutions For All, collates data on computer and communications products ranging from magnification software, keyboard and mouse alternatives, text-to-speech translation packages and voice recognition systems.

The service seeks to simplify finding suitable AT or accessibility devices and services according to individual need, preference, desired language or tech category. The idea is to make it easier for Europeans to get a handle on AT solutions as information about them can be either not readily available or widely distributed, or in some cases just doesn't exist. This issue has led to "market fragmentation" in the AT field that the backers of the portal want to see ended.

The portal offers a range of resources including links to news stories about assistive tech, details for professionals about best practices and relevant European Union compliance legislation, and a search tool claimed to offer product details and independent assessments of "the latest software and hardware assistive technology products across Europe."

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It also aims to offer Web 2.0-style participation tools to encourage online exchange of knowledge and expertise, including information sharing among key AT stakeholders and end users, plus open up a repository of open source AT software and cutting-edge technological trends.

According to Ability Magazine, which tracks developments in IT for the disabled in Europe, the project cost €600,000 ($790,000) and will support investigation of products across the U.K., France, Germany, Denmark, Italy, Netherlands and Belgium.

The project is led by Technosite, a Spanish technology and consultancy offshoot of Once, Spain's national organization for the blind, as well as a wide set of European institutions and organizations concerned with helping people with disabilities and the elderly use technology for greater inclusion and improved quality of life.

All in all, 43 different institutions in 16 European countries have contributed to get the site up and running, including IT charity AbilityNet, BlackBerry in the U.K. and the European Disability Forum from Belgium.

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User Rank: Apprentice
7/6/2013 | 1:23:30 PM
re: EU Helps People With Disabilities Find Assistive Technology
I was saying that there are many disable persons in Togo and in Africa.But they do not have many to pay this consultation and equipment for the better we want for the post 2015. I beg you that you help them.
User Rank: Apprentice
7/6/2013 | 12:50:49 PM
re: EU Helps People With Disabilities Find Assistive Technology
Please, I'm very happy to read about this inovation. Here in Togo or in Africa How can we benefit this for disable persons ? the are many but no money. You help them for future sustainable development we want
User Rank: Apprentice
7/1/2013 | 4:04:14 AM
re: EU Helps People With Disabilities Find Assistive Technology
ItGs nice to see that the EU is concerned about the access
to AT resources for the elderly and disabled. If information on AT resources
and programs isnGt readily available, someone needed to take the initiative to
create this sort of portal. I like the Web 2.0 style idea of a forum for
physicians to interact with each other and share ideas and solutions. I think
these sort of information exchange forums between professionals should be more

Jay Simmons
Information Week Contributor
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