Woman wearing VR Virtual Reality Headset with Interface
Woman wearing VR Virtual Reality Headset with Interface

(C) Adobe Stock. Purchased by BFW Düren

Held on July 14th 2022, the “Virtual- and Augmented Reality for Visually Impaired People” Online Conference was the first of three public events to share experiences about Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) products, researches and projects concerning visually impairment. This event was hosted by our BFW Düren (Germany) member, within the scope of the VR4VIP Project. Five other ENVITER members are part of this project.

During this Conference, 6 experts from 4 different countries presented products and research results, as well as their experiences with VR, for an audience of about 40 participants from 10 different European countries (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Rep. Ireland, Spain and The Netherlands).

Conference Programme:

If you wish to know more about this Conference or some presentation, please visit the project website .

 

pictures of sensemath app

pictures of sensemath app

Math is one is the most challenging subject for many students. Graphical information and the level of abstraction in mathematics makes it inaccessible and specially difficult to comprehend for blind students. However mathematics is therefore a very important part of education, because the knowledge and skills that are acquired are applied in all kinds profession and daily situations.

To make math more accessible, useful and possibly even more fun, Visio has developed the iPhone app SenseMath. With SenseMath, every mathematical function (like y is x squared plus 3) can be converted into sound. With an audio representation of a graph it’s possible to get a quick overview of a graph. It’s give information about the sort function it concerns, like a mountain or valley parabola and the number of function that are presented in the graph. The mathematical elements, such as intersections and extrema, are made audible as well and the playback speed can be easily changed. SenseMath is not a calculator; reading the coordinates of a point is unfortunately not possible. But still it’s a very valuable addition to tactile drawings.

SenseMath has been developed with a large group of experts of mathematicians, programmers, accessibility experts and end users to achieve the best usability and accessibility.

In the app a function can be entered using the math keyboard specially developed for SenseMath. Each function is displayed in image, speech and braille, via a linear or mathematical notation. In addition to the functions, mathematical elements, such as intersections and extrema, can be toggled on or off in sound during playback with the use of the VoiceOver rotor. The user is in control and determines the most desirable way to analyse a graph. SenseMath makes optimal use of VoiceOver functionalities.
For a Dutch student it’s possible to upload every graph from a specific math text book, by entering the ISBN number of the book.

In April 2022 SenseMath won two Dutch Interactive Awards; the most important awards in the Netherlands for online content. The jury of ‘tools’ category” saw a cross-media approach at its best, built around user-centric design. This is clearly an innovative new interface with a huge and positive impact for the target group: an admirably well and extremely well executed concept”. In the category ‘future interfaces’ the jury “particularly appreciated that this is indeed a completely new interface: exactly what this category is all about. The impact of this product is enormous and the worldwide potential is great.”

To make this come true Visio is always open for suggestions and tips to improve SenseMath. If it would be possible to make it more accessible and fit for students outside of The Netherlands, Visio would love to be in contact to talk about your thoughts and concerns. So please contact Visio through visiolab@visio.org.

Download SenseMath for free at the Apple AppStore

Trieste Gate

This year, Trieste (Italy) will by the city to host ENVITER’s annual Blue Sky Meeting (BSM).

On September 20th and 21th, our member will meet at The Regional Institute Rittmeyer for the Blind to brainstorm about ideas for project proposals and develop constructive workshops.

These annual BSM are developed with the financial support of the network itself, sponsoring the involvement of a person per member and this way promoting the opportunity to meet together and to take part in the growth of ENVITER, by encouraging work on new project topics and proposals for submission for funding.

Come and join us!

Six ENVITER partners cooperate in the ERASMUS+  project “Virtual Reality For Visually Impaired People” (VR4VIP). The aim of this project is to evaluate products, research results and experiences of  VR in the education of visually impaired people. The first online conference, also an ENVITER webinar, will be held on July 14th, 2022 with an exciting programme. Interested members should register here->

General Meeting logo blue

General Meeting logo blue

This year, the theme is 3D and the dates are October 24 to 27 (including travel).

The 3D printing technology is regularly covered in the media. The possible applications of this technology seem limitless and are increasingly finding their way into the private sphere, e.g. for upcycling of everyday objects or the production of spare parts that are no longer available. 3D printers are becoming more and more powerful and user-friendly and are now affordable for everyone. In fact, 3D printing offers many advantages for many creative home- and model makers. In the field of education for people with visual impairments, tactile teaching materials can be produced easily and affordably.

However, there is still a prevailing opinion that 3D printing can only be done by IT specialists and technicians.

The introductory course aims to provide answers to these very questions. Contents of the course are:

    • Private application areas of 3D printing
    • Different 3D printing processes and materials
    • Costs and effort
    • Advantages of 3D printing compared to conventional manufacturing methods
    • Obtaining parts from databases, 3D scanning and design
    • Demonstration of various printing processes
    • Practical operation of a 3D printer
    • Basic construction with Autodesk Fusion360

This trainng event will be held by our member BFW Düren (Germany) with the support of ENVITER. to have a 360° view on the training area, where the course will take place: Klick here

Once a year, we wish our member’s professionals to meet so they can have a training experience usually focusing on content about new and innovative methodologies, practices and tools that often resulte from our projects. It is a perfect time to exchange ideas, train our professionals, create some links between them and develop smaller internal networks of specific professionals working in the same areas.

This year, the subjetc will be 3D!

Contact us if you wish to enrol you or someone from your organization, having in mind that the deadline for this is October 3th.

 

Group photo in GM Angers, 2022

We had a wonderful meeting! After 2,5 years and the serious pandemic times, we had our first General Meeting in person in Angers on 12 to 14 April.

From 14 different European countries,  17 member organisations could attend the meeting with 32 participants. The meeting was organised by the Institute Montéclair of VYV 3 Pays De la Loire.

Our current president and former president, during the celebration of the 20th anniversary

Beyond our general meeting, this occasion was very special, because our network celebrated its 20th anniversary. Thanks to our former president Mr. Francis Guiteau, who is the current deputy mayor in Angers, the members were invited for an official ceremony to the Hotel de Ville d’Angers.

We also had our annual Conference Day. The purpose of our Annual Conference is to create an intellectual platform for professionals to share their theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of vision impairment, focusing especially on innovative methodologies, practices and tools.

This year the main topic was “Positive side effects of covid on inclusion of VI people” – Good Practices, Opportunities, Future Plans, Takeaways”

We had 6 presentations:

  1. Mijke Hartendorp: The impact of the Covid-19 measures on the psychosocial well-being of persons with blindness, low vision and deafblindness: Lessons learnt and solutions (Saxion Hogeschool and Visio, The Netherlands)
  2. Ramona Ionela Mureşan and Elisabeta Pintilie: Tools and Activities for Social Inclusion Examples of Good Practice in the Teaching of Visually Impaired Students in the Context of Covid (Highschool for the Visually Impaired Cluj-Napoca, Romania)
  3. Juergen Huellen: At the crossroads between progress in digitisation and methodological feasibility (BFW Dueren Germany)
  4. Dorthe Marie Degn: Positive side effects of covid on inclusion of VI people (IBOS, Denmark)
  5. Margherita Anselmi: Positive sides of covid situation for people with visual impairment (UICI Ascoli Piceno Italy)
  6. Agnes Somorjai: Bread online – good practices in vocational training during distance learning (School for the Blind Budapest, Hungary)
During the Conference, one of our members presenting their experience

The last day was dedicated to projects and future collaborations. We talked about the new ways of funding, the EU accreditation process and about project proposals and also prepared the upcoming Blue Sky Meeting and the next Summer Course.

All the participants emphasized the importance of personal meetings. Beyond the professional work we had time for informal talks as well, and could really feel the dynamism and strength of our network.

Happy birthday ENVITER!

Happy Birthday, ENVITER!!

Happy Birthday, ENVITER!!

We are very proud to announce that we will – finally! – celebrate ENVITER’s 20th Anniversary, next week, during our annual General Meeting, held from April 12th to 14th in Angers, France.

ENVITER was established in 2001, so 2021 was the right year to have a celebration. However, because of COVID-19 we could not not have a proper commemoration. We did it, symbolically, in 2021, in a virtual meeting, but nothing beats the celebration done together with all our members along with some special guests: people that made an huge impact in our network history.

Happy Birthday to all of us!!!

General Meeting Logo yellow

General Meeting Logo

Pleased to announce our 2022 annual Conference, hosted by vyv3 in Angers, France, on Wednesday 13th April 2022.

The purpose of our Annual Conference is to create an opportunity for professionals to share their theoretical and practical knowledge in the field of vision impairment, focusing especially on innovative methodologies, practices and tools.

We are inviting proposals for paper presentations in the following thematic area:

“Positive side effects of COVID on inclusion of VI people: good practices, opportunities, future plans, takeaways”

Proposal ideas that extend beyond these thematic area will be considered by the Board.

Abstracts:

  • Deadline for abstracts/proposals: 10th March 2022
  • Full papers must be presented in English.
  • These papers will be considered for publication on our website.
  • The presentation of the papers should be 20-30 minutes (including questions)

We also offer the opportunity for participation to people as presenters, speakers or as members of the audience who are not from ENVITER member organisations, so please inform your colleagues from the VI field about our conference.

We hope you will be able to join us.

For more information, please contact us.

Photo by Pete Linforth from Pixabay.

Visio CVI instrument logo

Visio CVI instrument logo

Increasing the quality of care, and the quality of life for people with Cortical Visual Impairement (CVI) is something professionals worldwide endeavour.

This webinar, presented by Femke van der Veer, from Visio (the Netherlands) on June 17th 2021, aimed to give its participants more insight into CVI and the implications on daily life as well as introducing Visio’s instrument “CVI in the Picture”.

 

Example of shoes with the device

Example of shoes with the device

On the 29th of April 2021, Markus Raffer, founder and CEO of Tec-Innovation, with the cooperation of Klaus Höckner from the our member Hilfsgemeinschaft, Austria, presented to our members the InnoMake, a warning system built into shoes, developed to make everyday life safer for visually impaired and blind people through intelligent obstacle detection.