University of Maryland
Trace Research & Development Center
Trace PIs (left to right): Hernisa Kacorri, Gregg Vanderheiden, J. Bern Jordan, Amanda Lazar, Jonathan Lazar

Trace R & D Center Investigators (left to right): Hernisa Kacorri, Gregg Vanderheiden, J. Bern Jordan, Amanda Lazar, Jonathan Lazar

The Trace Research & Development Center has been a pioneer in the field of technology and disability, known for high-impact research and development.

Our mission is to capitalize on the potential that technologies hold for people experiencing barriers due to disability, aging, or digital literacy, and to prevent emerging technologies from creating new barriers for these individuals. In doing this, we bring together disciplines such as information science, computer science, engineering, disability studies, law, and public policy. We engage in research, development, tech transfer, education, policy, and advocacy.

We encourage you to make a donation to support the work of the Trace Center.

Highlighted Current Projects

Morphic: Auto-Personalization Made Easy

Morphic is a new open-source tool developed at the Trace Center, for making it easier for people to discover and quickly access and use the accessibility features that are built into computers. And it lets a person’s assistive technologies and settings follow them and appear on any computer they need to use.

For more information, go to the Morphic project web site

Extending Data Science and Data-Driven Technologies to be Inclusive

We will gather, document, and promote the appropriate use of disability data in both disability-related and non-disability-related research and development, to ensure that they are usable by and applicable to people with disabilities.

For more information, go to

PEAT screen shot

Advancing Design Methods with People with Dementia

Researchers can greatly benefit from conducting user-centered design with people with dementia, but may face issues such as recruitment and ensuring research activities are accessible and non-exploitative. Through a range of projects, including intergenerational hackathons, remote research methods, and participatory action research, we are developing new ways to design with people with dementia.

For more information, go to

Improving PDF Accessibility Tools for Content Creators

PDF documents are often considered to be hard to make accessible, and content creators often report that is due to a lack of tools to assist with making PDF files accessible. Our current work, in collaboration with Adobe Research, focuses on creating new software tools to assist content creators in evaluating and remediating their PDF documents for accessibility, specifically in areas such as reading order, table markup, and headings.