“Handi’cap on the difference” Festival

On Thursday 10 October, the “Cherçons pour voir” laboratory was invited to present its research work as part of the “Handi’cap on difference” festival dedicated this year to the visually impaired.

The newspaper “La Dépêche” devoted an article to it which we are happy to share with you.

“The 4th edition of the” Handi’Cap on difference “festival has accomplished its mission:” to break down received ideas about disability “. Organized as part of the” Fête de la Science “, the festival took place over 2 days in the town of Rieumes. The “Association AVS des Ecoles Enfant” (AEAE), the association “Les Chemins Buissonniers” and the Lycée d’Enseignement Professionnal Rural Privé (LEPRP) “Le Savès” offered to the general public and for schoolchildren a program around the theme of blindness and visual impairment. On the program: conference on the subject of assistive technologies aimed at improving the autonomy, accessibility and quality of life of people with and without disabilities. clairvoyants (scientific laboratory “Cherrons pour Voir”), hiking with associations “Rando Rieumes”, “Rieumes running”, “AJH”, “National Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired” (UNADEV) and LEPRP “Le Savès”, blind meal; a sensory workshops with UNADEV and handisport with Stade Toulousain Handisport. We will note the enthusiasm of the participants for the knowledge and discoveries presented by the different actors of the festival. A particular mention for the young people of the college and the lycée of Rieumes who “showed a great curiosity and a remarkable interest for each of the proposed workshops”, confided to us one of the animators of UNADEV “.

We would like to warmly thank the association “Les chemin Buissonniers” for their invitation and for their hospitality.

Link to the article in the newspaper “La Dépêche” here.

The team “Cherchons pour voir”

Job offer: responsible for innovative projects

Missions

The proposed position consists of ensuring three sets of activities :

  • Engineering and project management in the “Cherçons pour Voir” laboratory, in collaboration with research laboratories, companies, professionals with visual impairments, and people with visual impairments.
  • IT infrastructure management and IT assistance to IJA professionals.
  • Technological monitoring and training of professionals on new technologies.

Context

“Cherchons pour Voir” is a joint laboratory between IRIT (Toulouse Institute for Computer Science Research, piloted by CNRS and the University of Toulouse) and CESDV-IJA (Center for Special Education for the Visually Impaired – IJA) . CPV’s goal is to create new assistive technologies for the visually impaired but also educational technologies for special education teachers. Some of these technologies are used in classrooms [1], deployed in events (for example the interactive tactile map for the Ramonville street festival), or transferred to private partners.

Activities

  • Engineering of research and innovation projects
    • Project management (writing, management, reporting)
    • Professional needs analysis
    • Watch over tenders
  • IT infrastructure management and user support
    • Develop and monitor the budget of an investment plan
    • Being in contact with the various providers
    • Manage IT and telephony equipment
    • Provide support to professionals and users
  • Services
    • Analyze a request and collect the needs necessary for its realization
    • Participate in writing the offer
    • Coordinate the delivery of the service in close collaboration with the IJA professionals (locomotion instructor, transcriptionist-document adapter, trainer, teacher, …)
  • Training
    • Train and support IJA teachers in the use of new tools from research projects
    • Create and run training sessions on these new tools for professionals with visual impairment in France
  • Scientific activities and technological watch
    • Design and evaluation of new assistance or educational tools
    • Technological monitoring of developments in the field
    • Report writing
    • Supervision of interns and doctoral students
  • Communication and scientific publications
    • Participation in the writing of professional and academic publications
    • Presentation of projects in national and international conferences and conferences
    • Create and lead events (workshops, conferences, etc.)
    • Management of “Cherchons pour voir” communication tools (website, twitter, lists, etc.)

Skills

  • Required
    • Expertise in project engineering and innovation
    • Good teamwork and interpersonal skills
    • Excellent written and oral communication
    • Knowledge of communication tools (web, Twitter, etc.)
    • Computer skills (Windows, MS Office, vector design, Android, etc.)
  • Desired
    • Knowledge of visual impairment and the professions of visual impairment
    • Knowledge of assistive technologies for the visually impaired
    • Rapid prototyping (3D printing, laser cutting, Arduino electronic boards, etc.)
    • Knowledge of participatory design and evaluation methods

Job

The position is a full-time permanent contract which can start at the earliest. The salary level will depend on the qualifications and seniority of the candidate. The main place of work is the CESDV-IJA, Toulouse.

Contact and application

Send a full CV with a cover letter to :

Disability, impairment, activity limitation, what this?

Common parlance generally speaks of “handicap”; but there is a difference between disability, impairment and other terms defined by the World Health Organization (WHO).

When a medical diagnosis is made, it is primarily a finding of impairment, according to the terminology adopted by the WHO. The deficiency (sensory in the case of vision) leads to activity limitations (inability to read letters that are too small, for example) and to participation restrictions (difficulty in taking an amphitheater course). Disability is the consequence of the impairment due to the situations in which the person with disabilities is placed. The importance of disability depends on the actions taken by our society to reduce it, but also on personal factors.

Here are the definitions proposed by the WHO in the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health :

  • Deficiency: any loss of substance or alteration of a psychological, physiological or anatomical structure or function (biomedical aspect)
  • Activity Limitations: An activity limitation refers to the difficulty a person may encounter in carrying out an activity. An activity means the execution of a task or an action by a person.
  • Participation Restrictions: A participation restriction refers to the problem that a person may encounter to participate in a real situation. Participation is the act of taking part in a life situation.
  • Handicap: any limitation of activity or restriction of participation in society suffered in his environment by a person due to a substantial, lasting or definitive impairment of one or more physical, sensory, mental, cognitive or psychic functions, polyhandicap or a disabling health disorder.

It should be noted that you do not need to have a disability to be disabled! A young athlete with a plaster cast is handicapped if he has to go up to the sixth floor without a lift.

Augmented reality for the creation and use of audio-tactile documents

Background and objectives

Whether at school, in daily life or in professional life, we need to consult maps, diagrams, graphs, etc. These maps are necessary for building skills and mental models used in many fields (geography, biology, mathematics, mechanics, etc.). For people with visual impairments, access to these different graphics is not excellent, which can have consequences on learning.

The “Augmented Space Reality” (or SAR in English) project started in November 2018 within the framework of the European VISTE project, then continued within the framework of the Accessimap project carried by “Cherçons pour Voir”. It was born out of the desire displayed by certain teachers specializing in visual impairment to create interactive audio-tactile educational content themselves. The advantage of spatial augmented reality is that it makes it possible to “augment” an already existing object with digital information. For example, you can trigger a sound when an area of the graph is touched.

Presentation of the system

PapARt is a spatial augmented reality system developed and marketed by the company RealityTech. The system consists of a color and depth camera and a tower-mounted projector, a microphone and a speaker. The camera makes it possible to locate objects and follow the movement of users’ hands.

After placing an object (thermoformed paper, object, board game board, etc.) on the work area, it is easy to create audio-tactile zones by adding already recorded sounds or by recording your own voice on the system request (“creation” mode). These interactive objects and graphics can then be used (“use” mode) very intuitively. The device makes it possible to be completely free of software since the transition from creation mode to use mode is carried out using raised maps that the user places on the work area. The drawing of the shapes is done with the hands (no mouse, no keyboards!).

Demonstration

A demonstration video is available here.

Project actors

The project was initiated by Anke Brock (researcher at ENAC Toulouse), Christophe Jouffrais (director of “Cherchons pour Voir”), Martin Hachet (INRIA Bordeaux) and Lauren Thévin (post-doctoral fellow at INRIA Bordeaux then at ” Cherchons pour voir “). This team was reinforced by the arrival of Nicolas Palard, engineer “Cherchons pour Voir” and Nicolas Rodier, trainee “Cherchons pour Voir” from the ISIS engineering school of Castres from mid-February to August 2019.

Many visually impaired professionals participated in different stages of this project (needs analysis, design and assessments) including: specialized teachers in Romania and Greece (within the framework of the European VISTE project), IRSA professionals from Bordeaux and CTEB from Toulouse, and the members of the AccessiJeux association from Paris, as well as six people with visual impairments. We thank them all.

Project status and follow-up

This project was an exploratory project to demonstrate the concept of using augmented reality to create audio-tactile content. The results show that it is very easy to use by professionals with visual impairment and that the device responds well to the need.

For the moment, no transfer to a company has been envisaged but if you know a company likely to be interested, do not hesitate to send them to the “Cherchons pour voir” laboratory!