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Research for people with disabilities
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Challenges and prospects

Europe can and should lead

All European citizens have the right to participate fully and without discrimination, according to the Nice Treaty. As the knowledge-based economy develops, cutting-edge information technologies will bring significant benefits in all areas of life, especially in promoting participation for all. This is one of the driving forces behind the eEurope initiative.

Europe can and should take a leading role in developing technologies for inclusion. To achieve this, it must meet the following challenges: to make new technologies, systems and services accessible to all citizens; and to ensure that these technologies empower all citizens to play a full role in society.

What does the future hold in store?

To become a market leader in IT for disabled people, Europe should channel its ample talents into a number of exciting fields:
  • ambient intelligence, where the surroundings act as the natural interface to access a universe of integrated, intelligent services
  • miniaturisation, including micro- and nanotechnologies 
  • cognition and interfaces, such as interactive multimedia 
  • new solutions for people with cognitive and psychosocial disabilities, such as children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder 
  • numerous applications for robotics, mobile and satellite telephony, Internet, etc.
By 2020, the EU will have taken a big step towards eliminating non-accessible technology by adopting ‘design-for-all’ methods in the R&D process.
All citizens will see, hear and feel the benefits of the Union’s many initiatives in the form of improved conditions for independent living, working and overall social inclusion.

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