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Assistants to the Disclosure and Management of Information about Needs and Support

1st October 2019 - 31st December 2020

The Open University is a pioneer in making learning accessible to all. For over 50 years we have provided opportunities for hundreds of thousands of people, with a focus on overcoming barriers to study. Harnessing new technologies effectively has always been core to achieving this mission through the Institute of Educational Technology (IET).

ADMINS is inspired by our recent research that identified how forms and administrative processes create barriers to getting the right support for study and independent living. For students, this can have a variety of impacts, including reducing the chance of success and having a detrimental effect on their wellbeing.

With a population of over 20,000 students with declared disabilities at the Open University, the ADMINS project will create a chatbot assistant that can enable more efficient and effective access to support for people with disabilities around the world. Working with the participation of students and staff, we will iteratively develop and evaluate an assistant that can be integrated into current processes. We will also engage with other organisations and support services to investigate how the assistant can be adopted to serve different audiences.

ADMINS is funded by Microsoft, through their AI for Accessibility program. This $25 million 5-year program is aimed at harnessing the power of AI to amplify human capability for the more than one billion people around the world with disabilities.