The ALPE Consortium: partners and key personnel involved

Four partners are involved in the ALPE project:

Picture of 9 members of the ALPE consortium. From left to right: Alejandro Rodríguez Ascaso (UNED), Nikos (PAB), Maria Kolionika (PAB), Carmen Barrera (UNED), Christopher Douce (OU), Olga C. Santos (UNED), Alicia Fernández del Viso (SOLUZIONA), Jesús G. Boticario (UNED) and Carlos Rebate (SOLUZIONA)

Picture of the ALPE Consortium taken during the first Consortium Meeting held in Madrid, at UNED offices, the 5th of February 2007. From left to right: Alejandro Rodríguez Ascaso (UNED), Nikos (PAB), Maria Kolionika (PAB), Carmen Barrera (UNED), Christopher Douce (OU), Olga C. Santos (UNED), Alicia Fernández del Viso (INDRA), Jesús G. Boticario (UNED) and Carlos Rebate (INDRA)



INDRA ( is the formal coordinator the project (administrative and financial coordination, milestones monitoring and coordination and communication with the EC). It will also contribute to the Market Analysis in Spain and to the market validation of the ALPE service. In addition INDRA will lead the Business Plan work package.

Finally INDRA will also contribute to the Dissemination and promotion of the project.

Alicia Fernández del Viso

Alicia Fernández del Viso Torre Graduated as an IT Engineer at the University of Oviedo (Spain) in 1998. She is has a Master Degree in Information Society Telecommunications by the EOI (School of Industrial Organisation of Madrid) She has been working at SOLUZIONA since 1999. From 1999-2001 she worked as an IT engineer in the Commercial Area of SOLUZIONA, participating in the development of the utility software package known as v10. In 2001 she won a SUN Certification on Java. Since 2001 she has been working at the Products Department of SOLUZIONA, co-ordinating and putting forward proposals for different European projects. She has successfully participated in the V Framework Programme VISUAL project ("Voice for Information Society Universal Access and e-Learning") - IST32495 as Technical Co-ordinator of the project. She is currently the Project Coordinator of the ALPE Project (eTen 029328).

Carlos Rebate

Carlos Rebate Sánchez has a BSc in Computer Sciences. He has successfully completed a doctorated programme in Advanced Artificial Intelligence and a doctorated programme in Philosophy.

Carlos Rebate has been working for SOLUZIONA since 1998. In 2001 he won the Innowatio Prize for innovation, awarded by Unión Fenosa, for the conception of a voice synthesis service for the web.

His field of interest is Accessibility for People with Disabilities. A number of significant projects in this field where he has participated as an expert include: VISUAL [Voice for Information Society Universal Access and Learning (IST-2001-32495)], ENABLED [Enhanced Network Accessibility for the Blind and Visually Impaired (FP6-2003-IST-2-004778)], FAA [Formación Abierta y Accesible (PGIDIT05SIN011E)], EU4ALL [European Unified Approach for Assisted Life Long Learning (IST-FP6-034778)] and ALPE [Accesible eLearning Platform for Europe (ETEN-029328)].

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UNED is the only National Governmental higher education institution in Spain with more than 120 study centres spread throughout the country, including Support Centres Abroad in relevant European Capitals (London, Paris, Brussels, Berlin). UNED provides online learning on a yearly basis for more than 160.000 users, which implies to manage more than 1800 courses per year. The so-called “Unidad de Atención al Discapacitado” (Disabled Attention Unit) is the UNED’s department in charge of providing assistance to roughly 3.800 students with disabilities. Through its continuing education department, it also provides continuing education for adult learners including those who enrol in basic skills courses.

Olga Santos

Olga C. Santos is the Research and Development Technical Manager of aDeNu (Adaptive Dynamic online Educational systems based oN User modelling) Research Group at UNED. Her current research interest focuses on taking into account adaptation features and accessibility requirements both at design and run time to provide open source educational accessible user-centred e-learning services for learners with functional diversity, where she applies her experience on previous research projects (i.e. ALFANET-IST-2001-33288, SAMAP-MCYT: TIC2002-04146-C05-03) on adaptation, collaboration and personalization based on combining user modelling and machine learning techniques in multi-agent architectures and making a pervasive use of educational and technological standards, and open architectures and technologies. Currently, she coordinates the developments of the following research projects: FA2 (Accessible and Open Education, PGIDIT05SIN011E), Adaptation based on machine learning, user modelling and planning for complex user-oriented tasks (ADAPTAPlan, TIN2005-08945-C06-00), European Unified Approach for Accessible Lifelong Learning (EU4ALL, IST-034778) and Accessible e-learning Platform for Europe (ALPE, eTEN-029328).

Jesús G. Boticario

Dr. Jesús G. Boticario is an associate professor of the Artificial Intelligence Department at the School of Computer Science (CSS) at UNED. He has held several positions at UNED in the area of e-learning and ICT's (Director of Innovation, Innovation and Technological Development Vice-principal, General Director of the Centre of Innovation and Technological Development). He has published more than 100 research articles in the areas of adaptive interfaces, user modelling and e-learning. He has participated in 13 Research and Development funded projects (European Commission, National Science Foundation -USA, Ministry of Education in Spain, Madrid, Galician and Castilla-La Mancha Communities). Invited speaker at national and international conferences, forums and institutions. He is currently the head of the aDeNu Research group and the scientific coordinator in two European and 3 National funded projects in the area of eInclusion. He is the coordinator of the ICT-Rectors Working Group on Accessibility Issues of the Higher Education Board of Rectors in Spain. He belongs to the Board of Directors of the dotLRN LMS where he is the head of the research projects focused on providing accessibility features to the platform.

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The UKOU is Europe's largest educational establishment with over 200.000 students studying its courses at any one time. This currently includes over 9.300 disabled students. It is an Open Access university requiring its students to have no prerequisite qualifications before commencing study. It has thus developed numerous methods of supporting such students in basic study skills. The UKOU has an active widening participation strategy which brings people from a perceived educationally disadvantaged position to one where they can begin work on a Foundation Level course at the start of a Bachelors degree programme. The local colleges in question all have Basic Skills programmes including those for students with poor literacy and numeracy skills.

Within UKOU the ALPE project is located within the Institute of Educational Technology. However this work will be undertaken with close collaboration with the university’s Centre for Widening Participation (CWP) which is a key stakeholder for ALPE within the university. Which staff member within CWP will act as the point of liaison for the project has yet to be determined so in lieu of a CV a brief introduction to the centre is included here:

The Centre for Widening Participation is committed to achieving the following aims:

  • to promote social inclusion and educational opportunity by working to remove the barriers to
    learning experienced by those adults who have taken no part in education and have had no or
    limited access to training;

  • to increase the successful participation of adults from under-represented groups in learning and
    further study with the Open University and elsewhere;

  • to equip individuals and groups with knowledge and skills relevant to their educational,
    personal and vocational needs in a period of rapid social and economic change.

The centre runs a series of “Openings” courses. Openings attracts large numbers of students, 13.500 by July 2006. 35% of registered students from 2004/05 moved on to further study with the OU. Of the registered students 6% declared a disability. The number of students who are studying Openings whilst in prison has risen to 3% of all Openings students. There are eight Openings courses in presentation in June 2006 with a further four in production (two of which are replacement courses). This includes the numeracy course “Starting with Maths”.

Martyn Cooper

Martyn Cooper is by background a systems engineer having a B.Sc. in Cybernetics and Control Engineering with broad engineering experience in Broadcasting, Computing and the Oil Industries. In 1991 he established an independent consultancy called TDP: Technology for Disabled People. This principally offered technical support to care, health and education professionals and specific equipment recommendations for individuals with disabilities. Martyn Cooper took up the post of Research Lecturer at the Open University in February 1998 having since 1993 been the Director of Research: Technology and Disability in the Department of Cybernetics at the University of Reading. Broadly his interests are in the applications on new and emerging technologies to enable and empower disabled people. This covers a wide range of technologies, disabilities, ages and application areas. Since joining the OU the emphasis of his work has been on access to education. In January 2002 he was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow to head the Accessibility in Educational Media (AEM) group which he had established in July 2001. The AEM group, which is part of the Institute of Educational Technology, works on externally and internally funded research as well as having a consultancy role across the OU in supporting other units in making their online course components and student services accessible to disabled people. He has been a leader in a number of European projects within the 4th and 5th Framework programmes and has been regularly used by the European Commission, and UK Research Councils and other bodies as an independent expert in the area of technology for disabled people. Most recently he was the Project Director of the PEARL project (IST-1999-12550) that developed an approach to creating remote controlled teaching experiments over the WWW. The project sought to enhance the participation of disabled students in the practical work of science and engineering courses at university level. (See Since 2000 Martyn Cooper has been active in International Standards work on Accessibility in eLearning.

Chetz Colwell

Dr Chetz Colwell has a BSc in Information Technology, an MSc in Human Computer Interaction, and her PhD investigated access to the Internet for visually impaired people. Chetz has worked in the field of accessibility of learning technology for six years. Her current role is of Project Officer in the Accessibility in Educational Media team of the Institute of Educational Technology at the Open University (UK). In this role she has developed skills and expertise on accessibility and evaluation. Chetz has extensive experience of evaluating educational technology, including various OU web sites, a Virtual Learning Environment (Moodle), an e-Assessment system. She conducts both expert evaluations, in which she tests technologies using a range of assistive technologies, and evaluations with disabled students, in which she uses task-based scenarios to investigate students’ access to technologies. The findings of these student evaluations further develop Chetz’s expertise on accessibility.

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The Panhellenic Association of the Blind with its 9 Branches all over Greece and with more than 5000 members can give the user's needs and make a reliable testing to the e-Learning Platform. It will also help achieve the best alliance strategy in Greece.

PAB is currently involved in a number of educational projects and sees it as one of its core objectives to explore opportunities and means to broaden the intellectual and educational level of the visually impaired. In addition, PAB will also contact end-user organisations in Greece addressing hearing impaired and adult learners. ALPE offers the ideal opportunity to validate a service through which education content can be provided to enhance the skills and capabilities of the Greek impaired population.

Nassoula Vassiliki

Nassoula Vassiliki in 2002 won a post-graduate program in Social Work as Social Worker by the Technical and Educational Institution of Athens, TEI and has been working in the Social Service Department of the Panhelenic Association of the Blind since 1993.

Angheliki Verykokaki

Angheliki Verykokaki in 1989 won a degree by the Department of Philosophy, Pedagogics and Psycology at the University of Athens. In 1990 took a one-year course at the Therapeutic Special Education, Phycological Health Centre of Athens. In 1992 took a two-year course on Orientation/Mobility & Daily Living Skills at the Institute for the Blind and Partially Sighted of Copenhagen (Denmark). Fluent in English, has also some notions of French, German and Arab. Can also speak the sign xml:language of the deaf. Since 1994 has worked for the Panhellenic Association of the Blind as Orientation, Mobility and Daily living skills instructor and as an O/M and DLS instructors’ instructor.

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