The Trace Research & Development Center, founded in 1971, is a pioneer in the field of technology and disability. The emphasis of the Center's R&D in the 1970's and 1980's was assistive technology, including communication and computer access aids. The Trace Center's current focus is on design of mainstream technologies that are accessible and usable by as many people as possible. It is a part of the College of Engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is affiliated with both the Industrial & Systems Engineering and Biomedical Engineering departments. The Center conducts a broad research and development program, as well as training, technical assistance, and dissemination activities. The primary funding agency has been the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), under the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Centers (RERC) program. The Trace Center is currently funded as the RERC on Universal Interface & Information Technology Access and (partnered with Gallaudet University) the RERC on Telecommunications Access.

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