Whatever the type of disability, whether physical, mental, sensory or cognitive, it is not easy for a person with a disability to find their place in society. Disability can occur at any age, as a result of an accident, illness or from birth. In particular, people with disabilities may experience difficulties in carrying out tasks and actions, and this may lead to situations of exclusion. For example, it is difficult to practice a sport or to access a job.
This is the theme that the participants of the Hackathon 2023 of the CSLAbs of UNamur were asked to reflect on. For three days, the candidates had to show their ingenuity to propose concrete solutions to help these people who suffer from social exclusion due to their disability. Today, there are applications that allow people with disabilities to reclaim their environment and gradually regain their independence. For example, people with a hearing impairment can use an application to transcribe the words of an oral conversation on a smartphone, by assigning a colour to each speaker. In another example, a visually impaired person can now use an application that will audibly describe his or her surroundings as captured by the phone's camera. Technology has a role to play in improving the quality of life of people with disabilities.
What is a Hackaton?
The principle of a Hackathon is to bring together experts and IT enthusiasts around a common project. You don't need a master's degree in IT, motivation is the first reason to participate in the event!
Technology, the key to solve any problem?
During the Hackathon 2023, the little computer geniuses once again proved that technology can be the key to solving many problems!
One project in particular caught the attention of the jury, as it was awarded the idea prize. It is a platform offering various mini-games featuring people with disabilities. "As an example, they imagined a mini-game in which a person in a wheelchair has to complete a course with obstacles," says Gerry Longfils, President of CSLabs. Behind the playful side of the project, the main motivation was to raise awareness of this issue among children.
A team of coaches was on hand to help participants develop their ideas, but also to deal with technical problems (coding, bugs, etc.). Three prizes were awarded by a jury: the idea prize, the participation prize and the prize for the best technical achievement. The final objective of the event was to make the winning project a reality.
The CSLabs is a junior enterprise specialised in IT in Namur. It is a place where events, training and activities in the field of technology and computer science are organised.
Their mission: "To give students the opportunity to undertake in the field of computer science".
Through CSLabs initiatives, students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge gained in lectures in practical sessions. The CSLabs provides first professional experiences to its members!