Launch of the world’s first online platform for digital accessibility

Weltweit erste Online-Plattform für Barrierefreiheit gestartet

 

“DeveloperSpace” serves as a community, exchange platform, and a source of ideas both for developers and for companies

The world’s first online platform for digital accessibility has been launched. As part of the EU’s “Prosperity4All” project, DeveloperSpace is where interested parties, developers, companies, and the scientific community come together. The aim is to develop simple, cost-effective and efficient solutions for assistive technologies.

Over one billion people have no ready access to information and communication technologies (ICT) as a result of personal barriers, (digital) illiteracy or age-related restrictions. In order to offer this large group of people access to digital technologies, the partners involved in the EU's Prosperity4All project have now developed a unique online platform, DeveloperSpace, which is available at s.gpii.net.

DeveloperSpace – the hub and community for assistive technologies

Dr. Matthias Peissner, who is heading this EU project, explains the scientists’ vision: “Our primary goal is not about developing entirely new solutions for persons facing barriers to ICT. Instead we want to provide a platform that brings together elements that already exist: a place where developers, for example, can find modules, codes, diagrams and ideas from other developers or scientists and can use these themselves. We want to bring together existing research findings to create new solutions that actually work in a market context.” So developers, companies and anyone who is interested in putting accessibility into practice can find tools, business models, applications, and much more on the platform.

Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure (GPII) to make digital accessibility easier, faster, and more cost-effective

The online DeveloperSpace platform is the first of its kind in the world and is geared towards developers of assistive technologies, researchers, companies that install assistive functions in existing products, public institutions, and political decision-makers. It is one of the three pillars of the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure, or GPII for short. “It’s about people creating new solutions for other people. It’s the only place to offer new developers the whole range of resources and information on accessibility that is available online. It allows them to understand accessibility and turn their ideas into reality,” says Professor Gregg Vanderheiden, co-director of the GPII and co-founder of Raising the Floor International, a non-profit organization responsible for the development of GPII.

Developed by assistive technology experts and companies in Europe, Canada and the U.S., the aim of the GPII is to create simpler, faster and more cost-effective accessibility solutions. Another of its goals is to facilitate the customization of digital technologies for all users. In this way, for example, digital technologies (e.g. computers, smartphones, televisions, ticket machines, etc.) can be tailored to the individual needs of the user. Each user’s personalized settings are stored in the cloud and can be transferred from there to any device, anytime and anywhere.

EU project Prosperity4All to run until January 2018

The GPII and DeveloperSpace were developed as part of the EU’s Prosperity4All project, which was launched in February 2014 and will run until the end of January 2018. It is coordinated by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO in Stuttgart and jointly implemented with 24 partners in 13 countries. The GPII is an initiative headed by the non-profit organization Raising the Floor International.