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Sun Microsystems Leads International Consortium and Wins Grant for R & D Project

$18.3M Accessibility Effort

Sun Microsystems has announced it will strive to solve accessibility challenges for all devices from cell phones to desktops and Web applications by leading a consortium of over 20 other companies and organizations. The consortium will help define new approaches and solutions for building accessibility support into future information and communication technologies. Funded by a grant awarded by the European Commission, the AEGIS Project is based on the Sun-led proposal and technical architecture. A key component of the AEGIS Project is that it will leverage open source technologies wherever possible. More information can be found at: http://www.aegis-project.eu.

The AEGIS acronym stands for "open Accessibility Everywhere: Groundwork, Infrastructure, Standards". Participants in the AEGIS Project include: Centre for Research & Technology Hellas (project coordinator), the ACE Centre Advisory Trust, Adaptive Technology Resource Centre of the University of Toronto, AOL, Blue Point IT Solutions S.R.L., Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, the University of Cambridge, Conncept Swiss, Czech Technical University in Prague, European Platform for Rehabilitation, Femtio Procent Data AB, Vodafone Spain Foundation, Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering, ONCE Foundation, P50, Polytechnic University of Madrid, Research In Motion Limited (RIM), Royal National Institute of Blind People, SingularLogic S.A., Sahlgrenska University Hospital - DART and Sun Microsystems. Advising the AEGIS project is a distinguished scientific advisory board comprised of worldwide leaders in the field of accessibility.

The AEGIS Project will involve research and prototypes that address a broad range of disabilities including: vision impairment, hearing impairment, physical impairment, and a range of cognitive/developmental disabilities. The participants plan to address accessibility challenges across three key areas: open source desktop computing, Rich Internet Applications (RIA) and mobile devices; with a multitude of research and development goals within each of these areas. In addressing these challenges, the AEGIS Project will leverage the pervasiveness of Java (TM) technology across desktops, the web, and mobile devices. Java is one of the world's most popular software platforms and is present on more than 800 million desktop computers and over 2.2 billion mobile phones worldwide.

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