Network of centres of excellence in Design for All to develop a European Curriculum in Design for All


1. Contact details:

ORGANISATION Name and type: (research, educational, administration, industry, NGO etc)

Research Institute in Networks and Communications Engineering (RINCE) Academic research and development institution.

Dublin City University (DCU): National university.


Dr. Barry McMullin

ADDRESS: (street, number, post code, city, country)

Dublin 9


TELEPHONE : +353-1-700-5432

FAX : +353-1-700-5508




Dr. Barry McMullin

Dr. P. McNally, Director, RINCE.

Express interest to participate in the design for all network as :

Profile and experience:


RINCE is a national academic research organisation. It was formally established in 1999, with funding of €9.5m under the Irish Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions (PRTLI). It currently has c. 22 affiliated research staff and 60 graduate research students. The Institute's research programme organisation is based around a small set of major themes, which are subject to periodic review. The current themes are:

RINCE is incorporated and governed by Dublin City University (DCU). DCU was established as a National Institute of Higher Education in 1980, gaining full university status in 1989. It has a population of c. 9,000 full time students and 900 staff. It receives public funding of c. € 44m p.a. to support its educational mission.

3 Design for all related activities:

RINCE currently has one research group actively engaged on specifically DfA related projects. This comprises two researchers and two graduate students. The focus of the work is on accessibility of Internet products and services. It has received initial funding of €127k from a private sponsor (Allied Irish Banks PLC) to support this work.

This DfA work is integrated and complemented by other RINCE Research activities: specifically in Virtual Community Systems (including eLearning communities) and User Interface technologies (video coding, machine vision, speech processing etc.).

Further DfA projects are being planned in:

All RINCE research activities, including DfA, also contribute to taught DCU academic programmes, including, in particular, the development and delivery of online, Internet Mediated, distance education.


The main task of the European network under the e-Europe action plan is to develop the European Curriculum in Design for All before the end of 2002. Does your organisation have experience in these type of activities?

DCU designs and delivers academic programmes, at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, in a wide variety of professional, technological, and social domains. These programmes are monitored and accredited by professional bodies (IEI, ICS etc.) as appropriate. Programmes are structured on a modular basis: one DfA related module (in Web UsabilityEngineering) is currently in development. It is expected that a wider range of such modules may be developed and delivered in coming years, integrated across a wider range of programmes.

Would your organisation be interested in carrying out this specific task?

DCU would be actively interested both in contributing to, and benefiting from, the development of a core European Curriculum in Design for All - assuming that this respects the needs for flexible adaptation to suit the specific needs of individual member states, educational institutions, and professional bodies.

To set up and run effective networks (national or international) involving and active participation of centres of excellence or experts from research and development, users, disabled and older persons and their organisations, industry, decision makers,…

DCU and RINCE have extensive experience in operating and participating in national and international networks in a variety of domains.

High level work in the research domain and experience in educational activities and in management of large complex projects.

RINCE, and the individual researchers affiliated to it, have successfully participated in research programmes at both national and european level, including PRTLI, and the 4th and 5th Framework programmes. DCU is recognised nationally and internationally for the strength and quality of its educational programmes, particularly in Information Technologies and Communications.

Stimulating role at international level, in exchanging experts and/or students, contributing to a real European area of knowledge.

RINCE researchers participate in a variety of European level research programmes and consortia. A number of DCU educational programmes formally involve student mobility and exchange, under EU schemes and otherwise.

To give advice to public administrations in relation to purchasing goods and services that are usable by the largest number of citizens.

All RINCE research activity is published and disseminated (through reports and white papers, publication in the peer reviewed literature, conferences, seminars etc.). DCU and RINCE researchers are actively involved in liaison and consultation with relevant government departments and agencies, such as the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform, the National Disability Authority, and the Irish Information Society Commission.

Relation and support from Member States public sector decision makers.

DCU is a publicly funded national university. RINCE has been established through the national Programme for Research in Third Level Institutions, administered by the Irish Higher Education Authority.

Raising awareness on accessibility issues and stimulating the use of Design for All principles among producers, manufactures and service providers in both public and private actions.

The current RINCE DfA project activity is a direct result of advocacy to the private sector, through the DCU Educational Trust.

Organising various activities on line, like discussion fora, interest groups, distribution lists and information and documentation in digital form.

DCU has been to the forefront in the application of Internet technologies in its academic and administrative activities. The RINCE Virtual Communities Group has developed and deployed tools to support collaborative working, particularly in an eLearning context. This provides, for example, the technology platform for the DCU Remote Access to Continuing Engineering Education (R@CeE) programme, which relies on Internet technologies to deliver collaborative educational resources and activities to students dispersed on a global basis.


Are the activities related to Design for All an integral part of the work of your organisation? (please explain)

The DfA research activity in RINCE is only recently established; however, RINCE is committed to the long term development of this into the future. DCU's Strategic Plan (2001-2005) makes an explicit commitment to pursuing goals of equitable, sustainable and healthy social development, and combating patterns of exclusion and inequality, through disability or otherwise. Development and participation in DfA related initiatives are thus precisely aligned with the University's strategic mission.

The network could carry out activities like supply educational material for Design for All courses or even to give the courses themselves in the centres of the network or in general, to develop training oriented activities. Does your organisation have experience in these type of activities?

DCU has experience in developing and delivering full academic programmes and also shorter, unaccredited, training courses and activities. These are delivered on campus, in satellite locations, and on a distance basis using Internet technologies and otherwise.

Would your organisation be interested in carrying out some of these activities?

We would be actively interested in carrying out such activities in the DfA field; however, this would, of course, depend on appropriate funding and sustainability.

One of the tasks identified will be to benchmark the progress of the work and the activities of the National Contact Centres and the European network. Has your organisation experience and ability in benchmarking activities in order to be able to show progress and results to the European citizen?

We do not have experience in benchmarking the activities of agencies such as the proposed National Contact Centres and the European network. However, the current DfA research activity in RINCE is specifically concerned with the problems of automatically and objectively benchmarking accessibility of Internet products and services: this may provide a useful contribution to wider benchmarking activities in the future.

Is your organisation connected to a high speed pan-European research network? Or to a national one?

Yes - via HEANET.

Do you give permission to make public your candidature and contact details?


Please send this form to:


Please send this form per

Fax: +32-2-2951300 for the att. Paula Brouillard


If you need further information please e-mail your question or phone at +32-2-2990239 Inmaculada Placencia Porrero

End of March: first deadline for call for expression of interest!

(new closing dates will be announced for National Contact centres. Expressions of interest for centres of excellence is continuously open.)

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