Taking the pulse of research and innovation in accessibility in Europe and beyond

The Funka Research and Innovation Team attended the ICCHP-AAATE event in Lecco, Italy, to present the results from the ERASMUS+ funded ENTELIS+ and eTeachers projects. It was also a great chance to catch up with old colleagues and establish new connections for future initiatives to help make the world a more inclusive place.

Over 300 professionals working in fields related to accessibility attended the event to share, learn and network in the beautiful city of Lecco, nestled on the shores of Lake Como, in northern Italy. The event took place from the 11th to the 15th of July and included over six tracks over the 5-day period. Topics ranged from policy sessions on the advancement of assistive technologies in Europe and inclusive education, to field-specific tracks focussing on areas such as cognitive accessibility, ageing and accessibility and language accessibility, to mention just a few.

Sharing our work with the accessibility community

Funka showcased the initial findings from the eTeachers project, which aims to empower higher education staff in building inclusive teaching materials. The team also presented a scientific paper titled, based on the results of the ENTELIS+ project,  “Bridging the digital divide: the development of digital accessibility training addressing the EU and global disability policy agendas” for which Funka is lead author.

We closed our participation in the event by providing a preview of the upcoming Meta-Funka Accessibility Hackathon 2022, where students and recent university graduates from across Europe are invited to pitch a product or idea that promotes digital accessibility and inclusion. The deadline for submission is the 30th of October 2022.

Updates on new research in the field

The event provided the opportunity to hear about exciting research in the field, such as Project Relate, an app with innovative voice recognition technology using Artificial intelligence to help people with non-standard speech to communicate more easily. It was also great to see that more emphasis is being placed on the importance of accessibility for older adults and tackling issues such as ageism in design and how accessible technology can better help older adults lead more active and healthy lives.

Attending the ICCHP-AAATE provided a fantastic opportunity to share the hard work that has been carried out in the eTeachers and ENTELIS+ projects” said Jon Switters, European Project Manager at Funka. “It was also a chance to learn more about the most innovative projects being carried out in the field of accessibility in Europe.

The quality of the interventions at ICCHP 2022 was outstanding. It is clear that accessibility innovation is strong across sectors and regions, not only in emerging technologies, but also new ways to implement exiting technology. We look forward to being part of the community in taking next steps towards a more inclusive society.

If you would like to find out more:

Website of the eTeachers project, opens in new window

Website of the ENTELIS+ project, opens in new window

Website for the ICCHP-AAATE conference, opens in new window

Information on the Meta-Funka Accessibility Hackathon 2022

Blog post with more information on Project Relate, opens in new window