Altering/Enhancing Sensory Input
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Release – Future of Interface Workshop

For Immediate Release:

January 19, 2023

The University of Maryland Trace R&D Center to Host
Future of Interface Workshop

Experts to imagine and explore an accessible digital future during two-day free virtual conference, February 16–17, 2023

College Park, Maryland— January 19, 2023 The Trace R&D Center in the College of Information Studies, University of Maryland, announces the Future of Interface Workshop, a two-day virtual event on February 16–17, 2023.  The event will be co-chaired by Internet pioneer Vint Cerf and Trace founder and Director Emeritus Gregg Vanderheiden. This workshop will bring together the best technologists, thinkers, and leaders to explore what human-computer interfaces might look like in 20 years and how to make them accessible for all.

“Accessibility is always playing catch-up. This workshop is an attempt to ‘skate to where the puck will be’[1] for a change, by gathering top minds in tech to predict the future and then create solutions for new interfaces before they appear,” said Dr. Vanderheiden, a professor in the College of Information Studies.

The workshop’s lineup of speakers includes experts from academia (MIT, CMU, Stanford, Gallaudet, Universities of Maryland, Colorado, Washington, Olin College and more), industry (Google, Meta, Microsoft, Apple, and more), and accessibility pioneers and consumers who will address existing challenges, foster collaboration, and kick off work on a long-term research and development (R&D) agenda for this area.

The workshop will be carried out in two stages:

Day 1 will be devoted to visions and speculations for human interface in 20 years — from futurists, technologists, and innovators in AI, Machine Learning, Direct Brain interfaces, XR/AR/VR and more.

Day 2 will then focus on how these technologies and their interfaces might be made accessible and usable by all people — and developing research agendas to make it happen.

The virtual workshop is free, and all are welcome to attend – students, academics, engineers, developers, computer scientists, consumers, futurists, funders, and anyone who is interested in the future of technology, disability, and accessibility. 

Registration is open now at go.umd.edu/foi2023. The workshop will afford participants the opportunity to learn from leading experts in the field, view presentations, engage in parallel discussions, and ask questions. After the workshop, an open working group will then continue work over the next year – to evolve and refine the R&D agenda so that it can be used as a resource by funding agencies, policymakers, and professionals concerned with digital accessibility.


 Founded in 1971, for the past 50 years, the Trace R&D Center has been a pioneer in accessibility, at the intersection of technology and disability. Its mission is capitalizing on the potential that technologies hold for people experiencing barriers due to disability, aging, or digital literacy, and preventing emerging technologies from creating new barriers for these individuals. Since 1983, the Trace Center has been the recipient of a series of open competition 5-year Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) grants from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR), part of the Administration for Community Living, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In 2016, the Trace R&D Center moved from the University of Wisconsin-Madison to its new home at the College of Information Studies at the University of Maryland.


For more information, press only:

Crystal Marte
[email protected]

For more information on the workshop and the Trace Center:


[1] Paraphrase of the advice that hockey great Wayne Gretzky says that his father gave him “go to where the puck is going, not where it has been”.