Trace Research & Development Center

Director: Gregg C. Vanderheiden

The Trace Research & Development Center, founded in 1971 by a group of students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has been a pioneer in the field of technology and disability, known for high-impact research and development. The center applies engineering, computer science, disability studies, public policy, and information science to reduce barriers experienced by populations with disabilities to current and emerging technologies and to create new solutions.  The Trace Center became a part of the iSchool in 2016.

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. 

Trace Website



Trace Research & Development Center News

Trace Center at 50 Yrs (Video): Accomplishments, Lessons Learned, Future Directions

  • Mia K. Hinckle & Liz Zogby

    A review of the Center’s work at the intersection of disability and technology over its first five decades, and a look at its current research and development work.

Trace Faculty and Students Contribute to a Successful Virtual ASSETS 2021

  • iSchool News

    Trace faculty and students contribute work and play key leadership roles at ASSETS 2021, which marks landmark 50th anniversaries for both the Trace R&D Center and SIGACCESS.

Jonathan Lazar Named Director of the Trace R&D Center

  • Liz Zogby

    After 50 years, Trace Founder and Director Gregg Vanderheiden passes the gavel to a new director to carry the Trace legacy of accessibility research, policy, and impact into the next half century.