ETNA is an EU-wide thematic network funded by the European Union involving 23 partner institutions. It was a three-year project that has now been launched to establish a web portal of ICT-based assistive technology. This multilingual portal includes ICT assistive products, related organisations, and projects. The portal allows access to repositories of freeware, open source and commercial software products and tools useful for e-accessibility.
Working alongside ETNA, the ATIS4all network focussed on building Web 2.0 applications to create an active online community, enhancing dialogue, sharing and participation among users, researchers and developers.
ETNA partners took it in turns to deliver monthly webinars (interactive seminars delivered on-line) to the network detailing the work of their organisation. Several technical workshops took place with representatives of all partners. These included workshops focusing on information needs, analysis of existing resources and the taxonomy which is used for resources on the portal.
During these workshops work was broken down into work groups, such as a group considering the types of resource to be included in the portal. These resources may include product records, articles, ideas, projects and forums. A work group considered the components that would make up each resource such as a product name, description, manufacturer and price.
These information resources are supplied to the portal by a number of processes.
- Several partners supply an automatic feed from their own databases (webservice server). This works in a similar way to the Eastin website (the Eastin website combines data from several national AT databases at the same time to provide listings of Assistive Technology products, companies and associated information).
- Resources can also be loaded manually onto the portal by content providers using an uploading and editing tool that was developed during the project.
- Resources can similarly be uploaded by members of the ATIS4all community.
- The portal was launched at the end of 2013. For more information and to keep up-to-date visit the websites below: