New development group for open source assistive technology

marbux marbux at
Mon Dec 22 21:54:42 UTC 2008

A relatively new non-profit effort to stimulate development of more
open source assistive software. Excerpts from the article follow the
link. I know nothing about this group beyond what it says in the
article. The planned collaboration between users and developers sounds
good though.


One computer program would allow vision-impaired shoppers to point
their cellphones at supermarket shelves and hear descriptions of
products and prices. Another would allow a physically disabled person
to guide a computer mouse using brain waves and eye movements.

The two programs were among those created by eight groups of
volunteers at a two-day software-writing competition this fall. The
goal of the competition, sponsored by a nonprofit corporation, is to
encourage new computer programs that help disabled people expand their


Project:Possibility directors have plans for more ambitious projects.
First, there will be a competition in February with teams of computer
science students at the University of California, Los Angeles, in
hopes of multiplying the number of programs to help the disabled. The
project also plans to create a worldwide open-source Web site on which
disabled persons and software developers can collaborate on new ideas
and add to existing programs.

"Imagine a specialist Facebook or MySpace-type social network in which
users would be involved in designing the tools they want and need,"
said Stephen Lee, a British software developer who operates and is a director of Project:Possibility. "Students
would talk to users and work on projects that meet needs as well as be

[From article page 2]

Nor does Project:Possibility intend to be a commercial venture, Leung
said. "We do not plan to earn revenue through a spread of our
programs. In fact," he said, "we plan to be completely open-source —
our programs can be downloaded, modified and used by anyone at no cost
— in hopes that similar programs will spread to other universities and
around the world with or without our involvement."


Best regards,


Universal Interoperability Council

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