picture of the second online conference concerning virtual reality

The second online conference, will be held on January 26th, 2023 from 14:00 to 16:55 CET.

The programme is now fixed. Once again, the project team has succeeded in finding competent speakers who will present their experiences regarding VR. Even two speakers from the USA will contribute their experiences on this topic.

Interesting subjects will again be addressed in this conference. For example, experiences from the use of VR in mobility training and the design of accessible VR applications will be presented.

Participation is free of charge and can be entered with Zoom:

https://us06web.zoom.us/j/88321081106?pwd=QmN1ZkROcXhpYW9IUUhKa3I4WWtRZz09

Meeting ID: 883 2108 1106
Passcode: 320703

Programme

Time  Subject Speaker and Organisation
14:00-

14:10

 

Welcome – Opening of the Conference Emanuela Zaimi

Head of Projects, The Austrian Association in support of the Blind and Visually Impaired, Vienna, Austria

14:10-

14:30

Virtual Reality in O&M learning Mr. Timo Repo and Mrs. Outi Lappalainen

Valteri – Centre for Learning and Consulting /Finland

14:35-

14:55

PC Virtual LAB Mr. David Checa

Universidad de Burgos /Spain

15:00-

15:20

Making VR Games Accessible and Inclusive Mrs. Flavia Mazzanti

Mr. Manuell Bonell

Immerea/ Austria

15:30 –

16:00

 

Break
16:00-

16:20

Non-Verbal Non-Visual Social Interactions in VR Mr. Brandon Biggs

Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute

/USA

 

16:25-

16:45

Non-visual Information for Accessible VR Mr. Aaron Gluck

Clemson University /USA

16:50-

17:10

X-Road project for VR mobility training Mrs. Lauren ThevinUniversité Catholique de l’Ouest /France
17:15-

17:30

 

Closing Remarks Juergen Huellen

BFW Düren, project coordinator

Positive Looking International Conf-Shop logo

Positive Looking International Conf-Shop logo

Together with the director of Positive Eye, Gwyn McCormack, a UK company that specialises in training professionals working with children with VI, our Icelandic member (the Icelandic National Institute for the Blind, Visually Impaired and Deafblind) is hosting, on October 27-28th 2023, the first Positive Looking Conf-Shop (combination of a conference and workshop).

The Positive Looking Visual Skills Programme is widely used across the UK, the USA and other countries, including Iceland. This event brings together professionals who are successfully using the programme or are interested in using it, to promote and include the development of visual skills across the curriculum with children and young people with VI / CVI / complex learning needs.

The purpose of the Conf-Shop is to share best practice, ideas and approaches linked to the delivery of the Positive Looking programme.

To participate in this event and learn more about how Positive Looking is working so successfully to make a difference to children and young people with VI, visit this link:

https://positiveeye.co.uk/our-products/positive-looking-international-conf-shop/

ENVITER webinar logo

Photo of a child, playing with a teapot

 

“Since I am unable to come to the room, the room must come to me”

On January 12th, 2023, from 04:00pm to 05:00pm CET, ENVITER will have its first webinar of the year, this time about Active Learning.

Active Learning is an intervention for children and grown-ups who are – due to their impairments -, not able to explore their environment with their hands, feet, or body. They learn to be a passive rather than active participant, waiting for adults to provide activity rather than seeking it out on their own. We see this kind of behaviour mostly by young children with severe visual impairments, and by people with PIMD (profound intellectual and multiple disabilities) and visual impairments.

Active Learning emphasizes creating a developmentally appropriate and enriched environment so that children and adults with multiple special needs become active learners.

In this webinar we will tell you more about Active Learning, and how this intervention challenges persons to make physical contact with materials and objects in their nearby space.

The webinar will be developed by Martien Rienstra, from our Royal Dutch Visio member. In order to participate, you need to enroll using this form. A few days before the webinar, we will send you a Zoom Link with the necessary information.

detail photo of an eye

detail photo of an eye

We can contribute!
The University of Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and Ghent (Belgium) are collaborating in the development of a tool to map the functioning of people with visual loss. They are conducting a worldwide research that can make a big difference in the near future for blind and visually impaired people around the globe.
And they need our help!
Their online survey is part of a broader research into the development of an International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) core set for people with vision loss. A core set tries to map the factors that influence the quality of life and describe what is relevant for functioning.
Blind and visually impaired people experience problems in different areas of daily life. In particular, they face a reduction in activities associated with participation in society, religion, mobility, recreation and visual tasks. How a person experiences vision loss varies depending on personal and environmental factors and will be interpreted differently for everyone. It will negatively affect the degree of independence, the ability to participate in daily life and the quality of life. In addition, this target group has an increased risk of social isolation, depression and falls.
That is why they would like to receive input from persons with vision loss as well as from professionals, so they have two different online questionnaires:
– Persons with vision loss can participate by clicking on this link: https://lnkd.in/g3vccvma
– And professionals by using this link: https://lnkd.in/gVKjbgQb
The entered data will be processed anonymously and can never be linked to you as person.

picture of the second online conference concerning virtual reality

The ERASMUS+  project “Virtual Reality For Visually Impaired People” (VR4VIP) evaluates products, research results and experiences of  VR in the education of visually impaired people. The second online conference, also an ENVITER webinar, will be held on January 26th, 2023 from 14:00 to 16:55.

Interested members should register here->

*Picture from Adobe Stock, purchased by BFW Düren

Resulting from a close collaboration in The Netherlands between Saxion University of Applied Sciences, Royal Dutch Visio, Bartiméus, Oogvereniging, NHL Stenden University of Applied Sciences, Studio Z and expert users, a video was developed as a mean to support good practices to develop Inclusive Online Meetings. In this video, special attention is paid to the question of how you can have a good and effective online meeting if one of the participants has a visual impairment. The video provides concrete suggestions and tips. It can also be used as a guideline: ‘meeting rules’ in an hybrid form of education.

You can find this video in its English version here: https://youtu.be/HL-Ub0ghJv8

This ressource is a research outcome of a project on the impact of the COVID-19 regulations on the wellbeing of persons with a visual impairment and deafblindness and was presented in ENVITER’s last General Meeting, in Angers, by Mijke Hartendorp, one of the researchers involved.

If you are interested in further collaboration or exchange about this topic, please feel free to contact us through our contact form, refering the subject “Inclusive Online Meetings” in your message.

This year, the theme was 3D, on October 25 and 26.

Over the two days, the Berufsförderungswerk Düren was the location of an advanced training course for nine colleagues from seven European countries. These colleagues are trainers from seven European educational institutions for people with visual impairments. The topic of the training was the production of tactile teaching materials for blind students using 3D printing . The highly condensed course, focused on the operation of 3D printers, as well as the basics of design using CAD software.

All participants were surprised that the operation of a 3D printer is relatively simple. The motivation of the participants to use this technology in their companies was correspondingly high.

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.

This introductory course aimed to provide answers to these very questions. Contents of the course were:

    • 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 was held by our member BFW Düren (Germany) with the support of ENVITER. To have a 360° view on the training area, where the course is taking place: Click 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.

Trieste Gate

This year, Trieste (Italy) was the host city of ENVITER’s annual Blue Sky Meeting (BSM).

On September 20th and 21th, our members met 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.

Came and join us in 2023!

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