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Staff

A photo of ECS accessibility team member Professor Mike Wald

Mike Wald leads research into accessible technologies in the Web and Internet Science Group, ECS. He 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) and is investigating how speech recognition can make teaching and learning more accessible. Professor Wald and his team are currently developing a system to make multimedia web resources (e.g. podcasts) easier to access, search, manage, and exploit by supporting the creation of synchronised notes, bookmarks, tags, images, links and text captions.

A photo of ECS accessibility team member E.A. Draffan

E.A. Draffan's career began as a Speech and Language Therapist spending eight years as the District Speech and Language Therapist at a group of London Hospitals. The work involved supporting disabled people with a wide range of communication difficulties. Having left the National Health Service, she then worked in schools and colleges, specialising in the support of those with Special Needs whilst encouraging the use of assistive technologies (AT). A Winston Churchill Fellowship provided the chance to see how centres of AT were set up in the United States. This resulted in ten years work at the University of Sussex, building and running a regional AT Centre, whilst liaising with others to introduce the concepts of equal access to teaching and learning for those with disabilities. She went on to work with JISC TechDis, with Professor Paul Blenkhorn and now with the Web and Internet Science Research Group in ECS at the University of Southampton as a Senior Research Fellow. Recent projects have included open source development of AT tools, voting systems to encourage the user voice around the localisation of AAC symbols sets, in particular the Tawasol symbols for an Arabic/English dictionary. European funded work has been related to online learning resources for MOOCs and accessible presentation tools to encourage inclusive teaching and learning environments for those with disabilities

A photo of ECS accessibility team member Abi James

Abi James is a Research Fellow and consultant on how technology can help overcome dyslexia, special educational needs and disabilities. Diagnosed with dyslexia at the age of 9, Abi used computers and technology throughout her education to enable her to successfully complete her PhD and achieve in the workplace. Over the past decade she has led a number of projects to develop, deploy and evaluated how both mainstream and assistive technology removes barriers to learning. Abi chairs the British Dyslexia Association New Technologies Committee and is project managing the SBRI funded STEMReader Project as well as increasing her time with the team to work on the European Horizon 2020-ICT-2015 project called Slidewiki

A photo of ECS accessibility team member Chaohai Ding

Chaohai Ding is a Postgraduate carrying out research into Web and Internet Science, Chaohai has joined the team to help with ATbar He has experience of web based user interface design and is a member of the Cognitive and Learning Disabilities Accessibility Task Force (Cognitive A11Y TF) of the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) Working Group.

Chaohai's interests are based around accessibility, intelligent agents, linked data, machine learning and the semantic web.
A photo of ECS accessibility team member Russell Newman

Russell Newman has a PhD, MSc Web Science and BSc IT and Organisations and runs his own business as well as supporting many ECS accessibility projects. Russell has been involved in the work around LexDis, Web2Access, ATbar and parts of all the websites run by the team. He has extensive experience in IT support, web design and systems development.