New Technologies for the Blind and Visually Impaired
The previous Research and Development Award featured over 80 projects submitted from 18 countries
Until June 30, 2006
Madrid, November 18, 2005—Today, the Spanish Organization for the Blind (ONCE) announced the start of the Fourth International Research and Development (R and D) Award in New Technologies for the Blind and Visually Impaired. The goal of this biennial event is to promote technological developments that contribute to the social integration and normalization of the blind and visually impaired.
Through this important initiative, ONCE helps encourage technology-related developments that correct or overcome the limitations of people suffering from low vision problems. For the Fourth R and D Award, the relevant areas of technology-related research include engineering, artificial intelligence, computer sciences, telecommunications, microtechnology and nanoelectronics.
In the United States, ONCE will work with the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB)—a leading blindness advocacy organization—to underscore the positive impact both ONCE and the R and D Award have on the international blindness community. "Technology has revolutionized life for people with vision loss across the globe," said Paul Schroeder, Vice President, Programs and Policy for the American Foundation for the Blind. "We are thrilled to be partnering with ONCE on this international competition to inspire innovative, new technology with life-changing potential."
The overall winner of the Fourth International R and D Award in New Technologies for the Blind and Visually Impaired will receive a prize of over $200,000. ONCE is currently accepting R and D Award entries, and submissions must be received by June 30, 2006.
All submission materials must be in either English or Spanish, and should be sent to the following address:
Secretariat of the Fourth ONCE International R and D Award in New Technologies for the Blind and Visually Impaired Calle José Ortega y Gasset, 18 28006 Madrid, Spain
ABOUT THE SPANISH NATIONAL ORGANIZATION FOR THE BLIND
The Spanish National Organization of the Blind (ONCE) was founded in 1938 to further the social integration of the Spanish blind and visually impaired. Today, almost 70 years after its founding, ONCE continues to provide social services for some 63,000 blind or visually impaired Spanish citizens. Since 1988, ONCE has expanded its scope of action to include people with other disabilities, advocating for the elimination of physical and communication-related barriers and providing financing training and employment programs to assist the more than 3.5 million people with disabilities in Spain. ONCE funds its activities and initiatives almost exclusively with proceeds from the sale of tickets (the "Cupón") issued for a popular Spanish lottery. To learn more about ONCE, visit www.once.es.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN FOUNDATION FOR THE BLIND
The American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) is a national nonprofit that expands possibilities for people with vision loss. AFB's priorities include broadening access to technology; elevating the quality of information and tools for the professionals who serve people with vision loss; and promoting independent and healthy living for people with vision loss by providing them and their families with relevant and timely resources. AFB is also proud to house the Helen Keller Archives and honor the over forty years that Helen Keller worked tirelessly with AFB. For more information visit us online at www.afb.org.
ABOUT THE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT AWARD
Held every two years, the ONCE International R and D Award in New Technologies for the Blind and Visually Impaired promotes technological developments that make a substantial contribution toward the integration and normalization of the blind and visually impaired.
During the previous R and D Award, ONCE received 84 project submissions from 18 countries, including: The United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Japan, France, Italy, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Serbia, Montenegro, Israel, Brazil, México, Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela and Spain.
2005 Expert Committee
2005 Expert Committee charged with reviewing each project and awarding the prize is comprised of the following members:
Nombela Cano, President of the Experts' Committee
Professor of Microbiology in the Pharmacy Department, Complutense University of Madrid
Director of the Special MSD Chair in Genomics and Proteomics in the Pharmacy Department, Complutense University of Madrid
Rafael de Lorenzo García, Secretary of the Prize
Secretary-General of the ONCE General Council
Secretary of the ONCE International R and D Award
Carlos Rubén Fernández Gutiérrez
Third Vice-President of the ONCE General Council for the Relations' Areas with Associative Movements and Technological Innovation
D. Mike Duxbury
Disability Access Manager. Vodafone, Ltd.
Prof. Gregorio Fernández Fernández
Head of the Department of Telematic Systems Engineering, Polytechnic University of Madrid
José Luis Fernández Coya
Director of the ONCE Centre for Research, Development and Typhlotechnical Application (CIDAT)
Director of the Information Technology Center and of the International Department of the Japanese Company for the Rehabilitation of the Disabled, Tokyo
Daniel Martín Mayorga
Telecommunications Engineer. European Academy of Sciences and Arts
Juan Pérez Mercader
Director of the Astrobiology Center of the Scientific Research Board (CSIC-INTA), associated with the NASA Astrobiology Institute
Francisco Serra Mestres
Director of the National Microelectronics Center of the Scientific Research Board (CSIC) Professor of the Autonomous, University of Barcelona
Director, Accessible Technology Group. Microsoft Corporation—USA