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By Simon Judge, Steve Lee and Peter Cudd


Managed Access to Audio, Visual and Information Services (Maavis) was launched as an open source beta release application in September 2008. Maavis was developed by the authors with the participation of older people using a prototype called ‘SIMWIN’ which showed proof of concept and indicated beneficial outcomes1-3. The concepts behind Maavis, which partially were guided by human computer interfacing for people with dementia4, were always recognised as beneficial to other populations5. During 2008 these concepts, summarised as use of IT without understanding it or extreme simplification of the interface, were evaluated with four school pupils with varying physical and learning impairments. Again this work indicated beneficial outcomes6. This lead to the authors adding features to Maavis to make it suitable for use in the special needs school environment, eg being network friendly and single switch scanning access. This was achieved through brainstorming and consultations with staff within three schools. These developments will be tested during the autumn term 2009 in the same three schools. The details of the developments and their success so far in the classroom will be reported.\ud \ud In June 2009 Maavis was adopted by JISC’s OSS Watch as a ‘strategic’ project that will significantly address accessibility issues of IT and the web for groups who struggle with standard IT and/or are e-isolated. The aim is to establish an active open development community by the first half of 2010. Links with others in the adult education field and with UK and international care providers are already initiated

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