U.S. Department of Education Awards $20 Million to Increase Access to Information and Communication Technologies for Individuals with Disabilities
WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Education has announced a grant of $20 million to the University of Wisconsin for a pilot project through the Disability Innovation Fund — Automated Personalization Computing Project (APCP). The grant is designed to improve broadband infrastructure so that devices automatically adjust into a format based on the user’s preferences and abilities. The project will help individual users find and specify the formats and accommodations that work best for them.
Individuals with disabilities often face barriers trying to access information or communication technologies in the various aspects of their lives, whether it is in education, employment or day-to-day activities. The APCP has the chance to bring the maximum potential of the 21st century to the lives of people with disabilities by increasing access to information and communications technology and reducing barriers for people with disabilities. People with disabilities would be able to access, on a secure basis, this computer information no matter where they were, no matter what type of computer they were on, or what software programs were being used, so long as the computer was APCP-enabled with web access.
“When students have access to powerful mobile devices and digital resources that are continually updated, they realize that learning doesn’t stop with the last bell of the school day. They become accustomed to learning being an integral part of all aspects of their lives, which establishes ongoing learning habits lasting long after graduation,” says U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “As we build tomorrow’s workforce, this project allows everyone to participate — no matter their disability.”
The grant is being funded under the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services’ (OSERS) Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA).