UDS Enterprise: Technological heart of EVITA at UMU
EVITA, the Integrative Virtual Desktop with Applied Technologies based on the UDS Enterprise technology developed by Virtual Cable, is one of the finalist projects in the VII Discapnet Awards for Accessible Technologies organized by the ONCE Foundation. These prestigious awards highlight outstanding initiatives and actions in the field of applied technologies to improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.
Specifically, EVITA is integrated into the candidacy “SmartUMU for All” from the University of Murcia (UMU), which includes various technological initiatives to enhance educational inclusion. The Integrative Virtual Desktop with Applied Technologies is an innovative solution developed by UMU, featuring UDS Enterprise as its main component. It has been specially designed to facilitate the training of individuals with visual, auditory, physical disabilities, or learning difficulties, allowing each student to customize it according to their needs. This VDI solution provides remote access to all applications needed by students, enabling them to pursue their studies at any time, from anywhere, and using any device, just like they would in university classrooms.
Innovation and accessibility in EVITA with UDS Enterprise
EVITA is available to all users of the university community, as it ensures inclusion in all departments and services of the university, including students, faculty, administrative and services staff, and researchers. It is part of UMU’s Digital Strategy, promoting improved accessibility to services and applications for all groups, offering inclusive digital services without accessibility barriers.
Before the implementation of this project, coverage for students with these needs relied on dedicated equipment in computer labs (13 stations for 1,500 potential users). This hardware and software had a high acquisition cost, coupled with maintenance and renewal expenses. Moreover, users could not access the software and applications online, losing their personalized settings after each session.
UDS Enterprise facilitates educational inclusion at UMU
To address this issue and ensure that students with special learning needs have the same opportunities as others, accessing their educational tools 24×7 from anywhere and any device, a cloud-based tool was created with the following features and advantages:
- Barrier-free accessibility from any device and location via HTML5.
- Configurable desktops and persistent configuration for users.
- Specific software requested by people with disabilities and learning difficulties.
- Easily scalable solution on-demand.
- Integration with computer lab reservation mechanisms.
- Cost savings on licensing through the use of open-source software.
The development of EVITA is based on EVA, the virtual desktop service provided by the University of Murcia to its entire educational community. Both projects have UDS Education by Virtual Cable as their cornerstone, software that allows deploying and managing virtual desktops and applications, as well as remotely accessible physical devices located on the campus. Thanks to its open-source base, it is compatible with third-party technologies and can easily adapt to the specific requirements of each organization. This has allowed the University of Murcia to create its integrative virtual desktop, tailored to individuals with disabilities and/or learning difficulties, with specific tools such as text readers or dictation software.
This virtual desktop is managed and deployed by UDS Education, which each student can customize according to their needs, with special resources to support the training of individuals with visual, auditory, physical disabilities, or learning difficulties. All accessibility configurations (color filters, mouse options, backgrounds, narrator, magnifier, etc.) defined by users are permanently preserved after the session closes. Thus, they can be recovered and applied in different user sessions, regardless of the time, location, and device used.
Access to EVITA is through the portal of the University’s corporate virtual desktop solution (EVA). Users can utilize it in the computer labs of the university or from anywhere using their own devices. All they need to do is open a web browser and enter their email and password. This flexibility and ease of use are achieved through the VDI solution UDS Education, allowing the use of mobile devices.
The IT infrastructure supporting the solution is prepared to ensure security and service continuity at all times, accommodating demand peaks without inconveniences, wait times, or slowdowns for users and securing access from any location and device.
The impact and future of EVITA with UDS at UMU and its potential expansion
This solution, developed in collaboration with the Area of Information and Communication Technologies (ATICA) together with the Service for Attention to Diversity and Volunteering (ADYV), caters to the needs of around 5,000 users with some degree of disability and/or adapted tool requirements.
Among the benefits it has brought to both this group and the university are:
- Access to necessary software from any device and location with internet connectivity.
- Freedom and flexibility in scheduling.
- Energy efficiency and sustainability improvement.
- Cost savings.
- Centralized administration of the IT environment.
ATICA and ADYV meet regularly to evaluate and work on the incorporation of new tools that improve the quality of learning and remote work for users of this service. Assistance to this group has been one of the hallmarks of UMU for more than a decade.
Thanks to the open nature of UDS Enterprise, the EVITA project is easily exportable and highly useful for people with disabilities and/or learning difficulties in any organization, industry sector, age, and location. It is available to other educational institutions, organizations, or companies interested in its application and adaptation.
For more information, please contact Virtual Cable through this form.