Assistive Technologies (AT) allow people with special needs to achieve a high degree of autonomy in their everyday life and to participate in modern information society.
The AsTeRICS Foundation is a non-profit organisation based in Vienna (Austria) which is devoted to Open Source Assistive Technology tools for persons with disabilities. The AsTeRICS Foundation works in close cooperation with the Department of Embedded Systems at the University of Applied Sciences Technikum Wien and is based upon the finalized research project "AsTeRICS Academy for Cross-Cultural Education and Research in Assistive Technology" which was co-funded by the City of Vienna (MA23) and the UAS Technikum Wien from 2013 to 2016. The AsTeRICS Academy project implemented international research cooperations and education in the field of Assistive Technology. In course two Summer Schools for Assistive Technology, international students were invited to participate in a diversified course program free of charge, getting familiar with the basics of AT and learning how to apply our Open Source Assistive Technology modules.
The AsTeRICS Foundation fosters development and application of Open Source assistive solutions which are easily adaptable to individual needs and can be realized at low cost - which makes them also available for application in low-income countries. One essential task of the AsTeRICS Foundation is to deliver knowledge about Information & Communication Technology (ICT-) based assistive tools to international partner organisations in form of workshops and guest lectures. The workshops provide hands-on experiences for students, caretakers and users with special needs.
A further task is the cooperation with academic institutions to develop common activities in education and research. Academic partners receive training how to work with hardware/software modules and how to develop functional assistive setups including alternative input solutions, Augmentative and Alternative Communication Systems (AAC) and environmental control systems.