EDF & Oracle award 8.000 € scholarship to student with disability

28 April 2017
EDF Board Member, Marcel Bobeldijk, this year's winner, Aineias Martos, and Oracle Vice-President, Karl Cox

Since 2015, the European Disability Forum (EDF) has joined forces with Oracle, to promote accessibility in ICTs (Information and Communications Technologies). Together, we offered an e-Accessibility Scholarship of 8.000 euros to higher education students with disabilities in fields such as computer science, computer engineering, user experience and others.  

Scholarship award criteria considered academic achievements along with a project proposal for applicants’ final year undergraduate, graduate, or doctorate thesis covering accessibility for persons with disabilities in the ICT domain.

This year’s EDF-Oracle scholarship was awarded to Aineias Martos, a Ph.D candidate at the Department of Informatics and Telecommunications of the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens, Greece. Aineias Martos’ main research goal is to find solutions to enhance the amount of information that users can perceive in tactile graphics.  

The awarded project 

Aineias Martos’ project proposal is to improve the accessibility of tactile graphics, especially those embossed on paper by a braille printer capable to produce more than one dot heights. His research is focused on enhancing the accessibility of these graphics using different textures with variable elevations. This will facilitate blind students or professionals to access scientific content, especially books or other educational material, where graphics play a crucial role.

“ICTs are evolving fast and designers of applications must keep in mind accessibility to make it possible for all people to use them and benefit from them. Accessible ICT applications can play an important role in the inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in society”, said Aineias Martos, winner of this year’s award.

“With this scholarship we aim at giving recognition to outstanding students with disabilities who will become ICT professionals. We know that no one better than them will know how crucial is to design for all in order to come up with accessible ICT products and services. Our aim is also to encourage universities to mainstream accessibility in their high education programmes. Currently there are very few universities in Europe that include accessibility as a subject to be studied during bachelors or masters’ degrees. Thus, we need to encourage education centres not only to be inclusive, but also to teach inclusion”, said EDF Board member, Marcel Bobeldijk.

“This is the second year that Oracle has sponsored the EDF’s e-Accessibility Scholarship to inspire people with disabilities to pursue a career in technology,” said Karl Cox, Vice President, Global Public Affairs at Oracle. “As an equal opportunities employer, Oracle is proud to work with the EDF and help it drive innovation. Having seen the success of last year’s scholarship, we are looking forward to seeing Aineias’s proposal come to fruition and improve the accessibility to scientific content.”

EDF-Oracle e-Accessibility Scholarship jurors included: Rodolfo Cattani, EDF Secretary and Chair of the EDF ICT expert group; Olga Sehnalova, Member of the European Parliament (S&D group) and member of Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee (IMCO), and the Disability Intergroup; Axel Leblois, President and Executive Director of the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICT (G3ICT); and Peter Wallack, Oracle Senior Director, Accessibility Program.

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