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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.

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 Nawar Halabi

Nawar Halabi graduated with a Computer Science Degree from the University of Aleppo and has received a first for his Masters in Web Technology course. He has been working with the team on the ATbar, Arabic translations and the development of the Arabic ATbar desktop version and will be starting a PhD in 2014. Nawar has also been carrying out research into open source text to speech engines and the quality of voices available in both English and Arabic with the aim of developing new voices to better suit local requirements. He will be working on the Arabic Symbol Dictionary Project

A photo of ECS accessibility team member Yunjia Li

Yunjia Li  completed his PhD in Media fragment, multimedia annotations and linked data.in 2014 having previously graduated from East China University of Science and Technology in July 2007, gained a 1st Class Computer Science Degree and a distinction in MSc Web Technologies. Yunjia has extensive experience of web based user interface design and is Synote’s lead developer

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.

A photo of ECS accessibility team member Chris Phethean

Chris Phethean is a Research Fellow focussing on revealing the value of social media technologies for charitable organisations, and determining what levels of ‘success’ can be identified from looking at these sites. . Whilst completing his undergraduate degree, he worked on the team's accessibility projects and developed the AccessTools pen drive with the options for several languages, using free and portable apps.

A photo of ECS accessibility team member Ana Iglesias

Ana Iglesias is an Associate Professor in the Computer Science Department of the Universidad Carlos III de Madrid (UC3M) with research interests in Inclusive Education and Web Accessibility. She has undertaken a wide range of research projects in recent years. As a visiting research fellow Ana has been collaborating on the redesign of Web2Access and has spearheaded the rationalisation of the number of checks to provide an easier way of evaluating web services for their accessibility whilst also overhauling the order of checks and researching the techniques necessary to achieve as accurate results as possible.

A photo of ECS accessibility team member Magnus White

Magnus White was a Technical Project Assistant with the ECS Accessibility Team until he joined the technical staff in the Nano Research Group. However, he has still been helping us with projects when a crisis happens! He has a Honours Degree in Information Technology in Organisations. He been involved in many JISC projects as an intern and is now joining the team as lead developer on the ATbar projects having developed the market place and many plugins during 2011/2012. He has extensive experience of web based user interface design and has designed the team's websites and blog templates.