Greater educational opportunities for disabled students are likely to result from a new international partnership involving Australia’s Global Access Project (GAP).

GAP this week joined IBM and Nuance Communications (the creators of Dragon NaturallySpeaking software) as the third industry partner in the Liberated Learning Consortium (LLC) – a prestigious international group of technology providers, universities and colleges working to advance information accessibility in higher education through applications of speech recognition software. Hosted by the School for Global Inclusion and Social Development at the University of Massachusetts Boston, the LLC works to collaboratively develop captioning and transcription solutions that create inclusive learning environments.

GAP – a full-service accessibility provider to the higher education sector – is an initiative of the Sydney-based Higher Education Consulting Group (HECG), which works closely with universities globally to boost revenue growth, operational efficiency and strategic change.

HECG’s Managing Director David Wright said the group was committed to supporting the needs of students with disabilities and finding the best solutions for education providers.

Through accepting the invitation to join LLC, GAP will contribute directly to a world-leading consortium focused on the development of technologies and solutions that meet these goals.

“Our objective is to work with consortium members and education providers to close the gap between technology (particularly speech recognition software accuracy) and students’ needs. This will help students with or without a disability achieve their learning and life objectives,” he said.

GAP’s Chief Executive, Sharon Kerr said she was delighted GAP had joined the LLC.

“This prestigious consortium is working towards finding unique and cost effective solutions that will help all students better access spoken information in educational settings.”

About Global Access Project (GAP)

GAP was formed with a simple mission – to enable students with disabilities to have the same chances of success in higher education as those without disabilities. Formed by senior executives of universities who were challenged by the struggles of students and of university providers to do something. We meet this mission through research and development, provision of cost effective tools and services and advocacy

About HECG

HECG is a new breed of advisory firm focussed on the Higher Education Industry. Formed by senior executives from a major University who experienced the limited value of traditional advisory services provided to Universities, particularly in the execution of corporate change. HECG has recruited experts from inside and outside Higher Education and sits side-by-side with its clients to execute change in the areas of marketing, business development and international recruiting.

About the Liberated Learning Consortium

Liberated Learning Consortium was founded to research and develop two interrelated applications:
Using speech recognition technology to automatically caption spoken language and display it as readable text in educational environments
Using speech recognition to produce and disseminate accessible, multimedia transcripts

David Wright, Managing Director, HECG – 0400 006 888
Kylie Colvin, Chief Operating Officer, GAP – 0403 302 710

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