Project Possibility: expanding universal design

J. Emilio Flores for The New York Times

Students at the University of Southern California are shown preparing to present their program at a competition aimed at helping disabled people expand their access to computers.

Published: December 17, 2008

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 capabilities.

The corporation, set up by computer science students and graduates at the University of Southern California, is named Project:Possibility. It grew out of an idea two years ago by Christopher Leung, then a master’s degree candidate in computer science and engineering at the university, who was working on a project at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena.

Read the entire NY Times article here: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/18/business/smallbusiness/18edge.html?th&emc=th

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