Digital Access Made Easy
OpenDirective is a social enterprise that enables people with cognitive disabilities or low digital literacy to more easily engage in activities that use digital technology. Our work covers development to consultancy and currently we are working on web standard support for cognitive accessibility at the w3c. We think Web technologies are most suitable for providing access to everyone, largely as this vision is at the heart of the web standards.
We do this through open innovation and open source software development of assistive technology that enhances the accessibility of existing services.
Steve has joined the W3C staff to help work on the representation of Cognitive Accessibility requirements in standards such as WCGA and supporting W3C documents. This involves working with the various Work Groups, Task Forces and Communities involved in this important and topical work.
Garry Paxton created the Mulberry Symbol set for people who use symbols to communicate with others, often via printed images on a board or an electronic AAC device. The symbols were developed to overcome the expensive licence fees of existing proprietary sets and to allow them to be used in innovate ways online. They feature unusual images aimed at adults. Garry assigned copyright over to Steve Lee who is maintaining the symbols and website. We have already collaborated with the open source cboard which uses the symbols and hope to see more uses, including the Global Symbol Dictionary.
Always In Mind
We are developing AlwaysInMind for people with cognitive disabilities, like early stage dementia, and their carers. AlwaysInMind is a web app that provides simplified access to existing services such as Google Photos and YouTube allowing relatives to stay in contact and share whilst relieving everyone's anxiety.
Always In Mind is an easy to use service and also open source to encourage collaboration and innovation in cognitive accessibility. It builds on our experience in open cognitive accessibility, including creating the EU RDF funded MAAVIS research prototype in partnership with the University of Sheffield CATCH. This successfully showed how people with dementia can access media and communications technology with simple UX and touch access. We were delighted to be finalist in the Ability Net Tech4Good Awards 2018.
Part of our R & D for Always In Mind has been as consortium members of several large EU projects designed to improve the experience of both users and developers of accessibility and AT. The Cloud4All and Prosperity4All projects both contributed to the development of the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure or GPII. This aims provide a public infrastructure for automatic personalisation of devices for accessibility needs and a DeveloperSpace to share code. Our contributions were in the areas of cognitive accessibility and access to technology.