Sunday, February 19, 2012: 8:00 AM-9:30 AM
Room 217-218 (VCC West Building)About 10 percent of the world's population live with a disability, and the aging population is one of the main challenges of the 21st century for developed countries. Recent improvements in computer science and new technologies have opened new perspectives on ways to help aging and disabled people. Assistive technology has been applied for years, but it is not yet available to everybody. Major barriers include the availability of effective and affordable assistive technology and the necessity of individual tailoring. These issues have implications for research and development (R&D). Experts should involve end-users in their studies to ensure that information and communication technologies (ICTs) themselves do not end up creating barriers by being too complex or inaccessible. In spite of some progress, major improvement can be achieved by accelerating the uptake of ICT innovations, focusing on interoperability, reducing complexity, and promoting ways to cater to people with special needs through mainstream technologies. The scope of this session will be to discuss how these technologies can be improved, the challenges in R&D for coping with people's needs, and ways that service delivery can be enhanced and improved.
Stephan Lechner, European Commission, JRC, Institute for Protection and Security of the Citizen
Geraldine Barry, European Commission, JRC