30 groups from all over Europe competed to design a digital application to improve accessibility for the disabled
Two groups of students in the 4th year of the subject Comparative Social Services on the URV’s Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work have reached the final in the Meta-Funka Accessibility Hackathon 2022, an international competition organised by Meta and the leading European accessibility company Funka. This is the second edition, in which more than 30 groups from all over Europe have taken part. It is the first participation by the URV.
The competition consists of designing a digital application to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. The aim is to create innovative digital solutions to increase accessibility by means of a program, a complete application or some other sort of digital device.
The two URV groups reached the final on the strength of the Applications they designed. The first, ‘Slify’, is for people with severe visual and hearing disabilities. It is an application installed in a tablet that translates both the environment and the texts into Braille in real time. The students behind the project were Judit Armengol Mora, Ángela Sara García Álvarez and Maria Martínez Castro.
The second, ‘Sign Language Translator’, is for people with hearing impairment, and consists of a hand-held device that translates sign language into a visual or text message. It was designed by the students Samjhana Font Martí, Beatriz Molina Diaz and Ariadna Riscos Vilaró. It should be noted that the finalists have also taken part in a COIL (Collaborative Online International Learning) activity in the same subject with the UJEP University from the Czech Republic.
Blanca Deusdad, coordinator of the course and lecturer in the Department of Anthropology, Philosophy and Social Work (DAFITS), says she is very satisfied with the work done and the interest of the participating students. “They have used their communication skills in English to show their full potential and respond to real needs by creating applications,” she explains.
The prize is 3,000 euros, to be divided equally among the three group members. The presentation of the three projects to reach the final was held this Wednesday 30 November in an online event, open to the public and with the participation of a jury of experts. The winning proposal came from a university in Estonia. All the information about the Meta-Funka Accessibility Hackathon can be found on the website.