2003 Conference Proceedings

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NEW DEVELOPEMENTS AT THE INTERNATIONAL CENTER FOR DISABILITY RESOURCES ON THE INTERNET (ICDRI)

Presenter
Michael R. Burks, Public Information Officer
ICDRI
5212 Covington Bend Drive
Raleigh NC 27613
Phone: 919 870 8788
Email: icdri@icdri.org

Pauline D Aguilar API Co-ordinator
ICDRI
P O Box 210698
San Francisco, CA 94121
Email: Copper11@aol.com

William Lawson
International Center for Disability Resources on the Internet
Biometrics SME
3700 Bastion Lane
Raleigh, NC 27604
Email: wjl@att.com

Introduction

ICDRI was started in 1998 to collect and display disability related resources on the Internet. ICDRI's mission is to collect a global knowledge base of quality disability resources and best practices and to provide education, outreach and training based on these core resources.

Our Vision

ICDRI's overarching vision is the equalization of opportunities for people with disabilities. As an internationally recognized public policy center organized by and for people with disabilities, ICDRI seeks to increase opportunities for people with disabilities by identifying barriers to participation and promoting best practices and universal design of technology for the global community.

What We Have Done

Resource Collection

The Center has collected a large number of quality disability resources from around the world which are displayed on our web site.

Presentations

The Center's Staff and Advisory Board have made presentations on many disability topics around the world and via web-cast.

Tutorials

Center personnel teach tutorials on subjects ranging from web accessibility to law, policy and technology disability issues.

Assessments and Other Services

The Center offers accessibility assessments on Electronic and Information Technology and other related services.

Publications

Three people associated with the Center, Cynthia Waddell, Mike Burks, and Mark Urban, made contributions to the book "Constructing Accessible Web Sites."

Projects

Murcia

Through our association Dr. Jose Luis Pardos, the Ambassador at Large for IT, in Spain, the Center has been involved with the Murcia Project, which is named Ciud@d.es. This project is being conducted by the University of Murcia, and has two main components.

The first is a virtual building for the region of Murcia, where seniors and people with disabilities will help to build a database that reflects their individual needs. This database will be driven by a smartcard developed by the University of Murcia called MUScard. The card will help access the services of a physical building that is under construction in Murcia. This is the second project. The building, using the card, will adapt itself to the needs of the card owner. More information about this project is available at: http://www.um.es/undis/.

API Best Practices Collection

With the guidance of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders the ICDRI coordinator of API projects, Pauline Aguilar, the Center collected API resources on health and disability issues. See: http://www.icdri.org/api/asian_and_pacific_islander_disab.htm

Resource Reorganization

The size and organization of our Resource Collection is more complex than ever envisioned. Because it is becoming difficult to manage a redesign is underway.

Paper and presentation Collections

The Center's collection of papers and presentations has continued to grow and are available to web site visitors.

Alliances with non-disability groups

ISOC

The Center has a long association with ISOC (http://www.isoc.org). We have helped to produce panels, tutorials and presentations for the annual INET conference as well as articles and policy statements.

Wired Kids

The Center supports Wired Kids (http://wiredkids.org) and its associated organizations in their mission to keep the Internet safe for children and youth. The Center advises Wired Kids on disability issues.

Schoolnet Cameroon

With the help of Advisory Board member, Wawa Ngege, President of SDNP SchoolNet Cameroon NGO (http://www.schoolnetcameroon.org), the Center has been able to offer assistance to disabled African students seeking help.

Some things we plan to do

Expansion of Services and Web Site

Plans to improve the web site and to better meet users needs are underway as well as an assessment for service improvement. A survey will be conducted to determine web site visitors needs and a newsletter will be developed.

The Present

Our Executive Director

In June of 2002, Cynthia Waddell, became the Executive Director of ICDRI. Cynthia Waddell provides leadership and project oversight for carrying out ICRI's mission.

Current Projects

Biometrics

After 9/11 this became a critical issue for people in the U. S. and elsewhere. The Center has begun an investigation into this area with the assistance of Dr. William Lawson. The Center discovered that the major issues involving people with disabilities and biometrics are fear and lack of awareness of disability issues.

The function of a biometric is to facilitate controlled access to applications, networks, personal computers (PCs), and physical facilities. A biometric is a method of establishing a person's identity by comparing the binary code of a uniquely specific biological or physical characteristic (i.e. fingerprint, palm print, iris, facial, etc.) to the binary code of an electronically stored characteristic called a biometric template. The defining factor of a biometric is that it cannot fall prey to hackers; it can't be shared, lost, or guessed. Simply put, a biometric is an efficient way to secure your identity.

The issue of misuse is a justifiable fear. The Americans Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), local, state, federal, and international organizations have concerns about the security (privacy) or misuse of the biometric data collected by the government and private companies. These concerns are of such importance that two organizations were formed to address the concerns, the International Biometric Industry Association (www.ibia.org), sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Bioprivacy Organization (www.bioprivacy.org).

By now many of you are asking, so what does all of this have to do with people with disabilities? The answer is "UNIVERSAL ACCESSABILITY".

The usually biometric of choice is the fingerprint, which is no problem as long as you have a finger, an arm, and the ability to place your finger on the scanner.

There are only two biometrics characteristics, which have the potential of achieving "UNIVERSAL ACCESSABILITY". They are facial geometry and facial thermograph (IR). Everyone has a face. Using a facial biometrics will ensure that we as a society do not promote discrimination.

To learn more see: http://www.icdri.org/biometrics/biometrics.htm.

Law and Policy

Cynthia Waddell is the Center's Executive Director and is also one of the foremost experts on disability law and policy in the world. She wrote web accessibility guidelines for the City of San Jose California (http://www.icdri.org/CynthiaW/city_of_san_jose_world_wide_web_.htm) that predates those of the W3C. The Center has many of her works and presentations on our web site (http://www.icdri.org/CynthiaW/cynthia_waddell.htm). Rianne C. ten Veen has joined our advisory board and provides knowledge and expertise in the area of disability Law and Policy for Europe.

Children and Youth

The Center has been collecting resources, papers and presentations addressing disability issues faced by children and youth. Many people have provided assistance including Catherine and Molly Hopkins. They are a mother daughter team who have written essays providing insight into the issues faced by young people with learning disabilities. See:

http://www.icdri.org/Children%20%20and%20Parent%20Resources/Growing%20up%20Molly.htm and http://www.icdri.org/Children%20%20and%20Parent%20Resources/Being%20%20Molly.htm respectively.

Resource Collection

The resource collection is expanding constantly with many ad hoc customer requests being addressed from visitors seeking help around the world.

The Future

The Center's main contact with people with disabilities and their supporters is through the web site at http://www.icdri.org. Due to the wide range of visitor ability, the web site must be accessible to the largest number of people disabled or not. The Center continues to investigate Best practices in a number of areas related to disability issues.

Accessibility Oversight Professional Consulting Services

Cynthia Waddell brings particular expertise in providing services for government and private sector clients for the accessible design of technology. Through this effort ICDRI seeks to increase opportunities for people with disaiblities by identifying barriers to participation and promoting best practices and univesal design of technology. Current services underway draw upon Center personnel in our provision services. At this time accessibility partnerships are being formed with organizations to provide worldwide support.

Conclusion

Since the start of the Center in 1998, we have served over a half million visitors and answered many ad hoc inquiries. We have gathered many disability resources and made many presentations and taught many tutorials.

We have helped a widely dispersed and diverse group of people with an interest or need to know about disability issues. We will continue to do so.

Who have helped us?

Many people have generously assisted us around the globe. The Center expresses its thanks and gratitude to everyone who has donated resources, time and money to our mission.


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