To make HIT the main and integrated Research Pole in the fields of Transport, Sustainable Mobility and Tourism in Greece and among the top 10 relevant nodes of technology and expertise in Europe.

Acronym: ÆGIS
Project Title: Open Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Standards
Duration: 48 months (01/09/2008- 31/08/2012)

Description: The AEGIS (Open Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Standards) project sought to determine whether 3rd generation access techniques would provide a more accessible, more exploitable and deeply embeddable approach in mainstream ICT. This approach was developed and explored with the Open Accessibility Framework (OAF) through which aspects of the design, development and deployment of accessible mainstream ICT are addressed. The OAF provides embedded and built-in accessibility solutions, as well as toolkits for developers, for “engraving” accessibility in existing and emerging mass-market ICT-based products, thus making accessibility open, plug and play, personalised and configurable, realistic and applicable in various contexts.

Based on a holistic UCD, AEGIS identified user needs and interaction models for several user groups (users with visual, hearing, motion, speech and cognitive impairments as well as application developers) and developed open source-based generalised accessibility support into mainstream ICT devices/applications (desktop, rich web applications and Java-based mobile devices).

All developments were iteratively tested with a significant number of end users, developers and experts in 3 phases and 4 Pilot sites Europe wide (in Belgium, Spain, Sweden and the UK). The project included strong industrial and end user participation. The project results’ uptake was promoted by strong standardisation activities, as well as the fact that much of the technology results have been either new open source applications or are built into existing and already widely adopted open source ICT.

Objectives: The fundamental scientific objectives of the ÆGIS Open Accessibility Framework, towards the achievement of which we will steer the Consortium’s research were:

  • to demonstrate and prove that use of 3rd generation access techniques results in equal or better end-user access experiences as compared to the existing, 2nd generation approaches;
  • to identify and develop the right combination of developer's tools aiding in creating accessible applications which leverage sets of pre-built & accessibility-enabled user interface components for desktop, mobile, and rich Internet applications; which together allow developers to comfortably and easily create accessible applications;
  • to develop a set of embeddable assistive technologies for mobile devices that fit into this framework and deliver a satisfying experience to people with disabilities;
  • to develop a set of user agents for desktop and mobile devices which leverage and translate a cross-platform accessibility API from the 3rd generation access techniques of the web, to the desktop and mobile accessibility APIs – in such as fashion as to give users with disabilities the same utility and accessibility with rich Internet applications as they have with accessible desktop applications.

HIT key role and responsibilities:

  • • Coordinator of the project (until 31st of August 2011).
  • • Quality Manager of the project (since 2nd year of the project).
  • • Development of project use cases and application scenarios.
  • • Establishment and maintenance of the Open Accessibility Everywhere Group (OAEG)
  • • Open Accessibility Framework maintenance and update (on-line through OAEG portal).
  • • Development of the evaluation framework and experimental plans for the user pilots and the technical validation and consolidation of the results.
  • • State-of-the-art survey on mobile devices accessibility solutions and elements.
  • • Development of architecture of built-in accessibility framework for mobile devices.
  • • Development of accessibility frameworks and APIs on the Java Micro Edition CDC and CLDC – interoperating with existing assistive technologies outside of the Java environment.
  • • Implementation of accessibility support for user interface component sets of the Java Micro Edition CDC and CLDC environments.
  • • Open developer's tool for creating accessible CDC Mobile applications.
  • • Development and maintenance of project scheduling, communication and reporting tools.
  • • Execution of socioeconomic analysis.
  • • Research Roadmap preparation.
  • • Ethical and gender issues monitoring and reporting.

Contact person:
Dr. Maria Gkemou
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+30 211 1069 553
Dr. Evangelos Bekiaris
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+30 2310 498 453 & +30 211 1069 599


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