Who we are

The work on this project is being carried out by members of the Accessibility Team within the Web and Internet Science Group at the University of Southampton and colleagues who have become visiting researchers and lecturers.  Special friends who collaborated on the Arabic Symbol Dictionary (Tawasol symbols) have also become mentors.

Professor Mike Wald – leads research into accessible technologies in the Web and Internet Science Research Group, ECS

Telephone: Work (Voice): +44 (0)23 8059 3667
Email: mw@ecs.soton.ac.uk
Mike Wald Dr Wald  has advised HEFCE, JISC, and Universities on enhancing learning through the use of technologies. He established the University’s MSc in Computer Based Learning and Centre for Enabling and Learning Technologies (CELT) in 1994 and was involved in the establishment of the University’s Disability and Assistive Technology Services. He is a founder member of the International Liberated Learning Consortium that includes other leading universities (e.g. MIT) and organisations (e.g. IBM, Nuance) and is investigating how speech recognition can make teaching and learning more accessible.

David Banes – Director of David Banes Access and Inclusion Services and Visiting Lecturer

Email: david@davebanesaccess.org
David Banes David is director of David Banes Access and Inclusion Services and has worked with many well known international organisations having been part of the original Tawasol Symbols team as Chief Executive at Mada – Qatar Assistive Technology Center.  He is keen to see how freely available augmentative and alternative communication symbol sets can be developed to fit the local linguistic and cultural needs of those with speech, language and literacy difficulties as well as allowing for enhanced international social network communication.

E.A. Draffan – Senior Research Fellow

Telephone: Work (Voice): +44 (0)23 8059 7246
Email: ead@ecs.soton.ac.uk

E.A. DraffanE.A. trained as a Speech and Language and has worked with those who have communication and written language difficulties in hospitals, schools and universities. She spent several years assessing and supporting disabled students in their use of assistive technology and recently working on open source projects involving the Arabic language such as the ATbar as well as research involving assistive technology use,  web, STEM, ebook accessibility and MOOC development

Russell Newman – Computer Scientist and Visiting Researcher

RussellRussell is a practical IT adviser and implementer, delivering solutions, support and guidance to various SMEs nationwide. He assists in the development of IT strategy, and formulate long-term solutions based upon years of commercial experience.  He admits to enjoying the challenges of adapting systems and new schemes that turn into highly usable, effective solutions.  He has also developed degree-level modules on Web Development, and continues to lecture on several subjects at the University of Southampton.

Nadine N. Zeinoun – Assistive Technology Specialist and Speech and Lanugage Therapist

Nadine ZeinounNadine Zeinoun graduated as a Speech and Language Therapist from Saint Joseph University, Lebanon and for her thesis presented a list of Lebanese core vocabulary for a prototype Arabic symbol set for AAC users.  Nadine is now working in the Mada Center as an Assistive Technology specialist, to support people with disabilities in Qatar and improve their communication as well as joining the Arabic Symbol Dictionary research team.   Nadine has experience working with infants, children and adolescents with a variety of communication disorders and developmental or behavioral problems.

Dana Lawand – Graphic Designer

Dana LawandDana Lawand graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphic design from the Lebanese American University of Beirut. Dana’s designs have been mainly be for advertising agencies where she has delivered the concept for a brand through various types of media that reflect the concept and vision. Given the opportunity to work with Mada making the link between graphic design and the work of the research project has many similarities when it comes to delivering its vision. Initial work has been the creation of the project logo named ‘Tawasol’ which in Arabic means ‘Communication’ whilst beginning the task of working on designing additional dissemination materials and the symbols that need to be added to the Arabic Symbol Dictionary.

Aejaz Zahid  – Technology & Healthcare Consultant

AejazAejaz Zahid is an expert in Assistive Technology, Rehabilitation Engineering and Human Computer Interaction who has had research and development projects in Europe and USA having just returned from MIT. He was one of the original team members on the Tawasol Symbols project at at Mada – Qatar Assistive Technology Center. More recently he has been appointed a research and innovation fellow at the University of Sheffield working with the Centre for Assistive Technology and Connected Healthcare: CATCH and Barnsley AT Team – Assistive Technology Team