Project Open is aimed at improving in-person expressive communication for individuals with complex communication needs (CCN) who use augmentative and alternative communication (AAC). Target groups include individuals with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, cerebral palsy, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Project is funded by a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research.

Research Track

Despite advances in technology, in-person interactions mediated by AAC remain highly problematic. Through a series of investigations, the research track will deepen understanding of the strategies individuals employ, and the composition delays, breakdowns, and miscommunications that frequently occur, during in-person interactions that are mediated by AAC. 

Development Track

The development track will facilitate an interdisciplinary and inclusive approach to design. Accessible, web-based, open source tools will be developed for use by the Project Open team to address specific problems identified in the research track. These open source tools will also be made available to all interested researchers and designers for creating and testing AAC interfaces. 

Dissemination and Utilization Track

The dissemination and utilization track will leverage an inclusive community of researchers and designers with varied experiences using, studying, and developing AAC systems. Information and practical guidance will be provided through publications, presentations, source-code documentation and tutorials, and online community forums. 

Research and development efforts are getting underway!