About CIRCUA

CIRCUA is dedicated to fundamental research and practical problem solving in universal access, including design for all, accessibility, adaptable systems, adaptive systems, social and cultural factors and cognitive user modelling. Our membership includes Middlesex University members ("UK members") and members in other locations ("International Members"). If you believe that you would benefit from membership of CIRCUA and could contribute to it, then we would invite you to become a member. There are no fees for membership and we are building an international community of expertise. We are also planning to submit one or more projects for the FP6 e-inclusion call of the EU, particularly in the areas including cognitive impairments. So we would be very keen to hear from you if you are interested in active collaboration.

We are planning a CA based around sharing best practice in Information and communication technologies accessibility promotion, awareness raising, education and assistance and would add that this should be underpinned by ongoing research to understand our needs for universal access and for the development of technological innovations.

We see the movement towards universal access/inclusive design as something that should apply to the whole field of information and communication technology. This is emphasised by the emergence of the information society. Computing science has moved through distinct stages of development. It should now be working towards the universal access stage of maturity! Accessibility concerns have, in my view, at least four components; the individual commanding the system, the task, the technology and the context, all of which can limit access.

CIRCUA (Collaborative International Centre for Universal Access) was founded in April 20014 with grants from Middlesex University and ESRC (UK).

Our mission is to develop international partnerships to work jointly with us to promote research and development in universal access. We are equally focussed on practical problem solving as on underpinning research to improve knowledge. We now have three Centre Heads; myself, Gill Whitney and Professor Anthony White. My background is in cognitive science. I was Head of the Assessment Centre, Papworth Trust, Cambridge, before becoming to Middlesex, where I am a senior lecturer. I am focusing on user modelling and related accessibility issues. Gill Whitney came from RNIB and she is very active in Design for All and Standards and the Department of Trade and Industry. Tony is a professor of engineering, with focuses on engineering design, rehabilitation robotics etc.