Streetlab

An initiative from “Institut de la Vision

Picture of the Paris Vision Institute building

Institut de la Vision, the Caisse des Dépôts group, Pierre and Marie Curie University , the French Federation of the Blind and Visually Impaired , the Fondation Hospitalière Sainte Marie and the BTP Consultants Group joined their efforts to create Streetlab in the Quinze-Vingts hospital area, with the support of the City of Paris, the Paris Region and the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research.

Streetlab is focused on :

  • Contributing to applied research in disability field with “Institut de la Vision”
  • Designing innovative solutions for visually impaired users
  • Evaluating user benefit with visually impaired people based on a human factors methodology

 

A response to social challenges

According to the HID survey (Handicaps-Disabilities-Dependency) of 2002 visual impairment in France affects about 1.7 million people, of which 60,000 are blind and 1,640,000 partially sighted. Taking account of demographic trends in industrialised countries, the number of visually impaired people could double by 2030.

The law on equal opportunities, participation and citizenship for people with disabilities of 11 February 2005 brings fundamental changes to meet the expectations of people with disabilities.

Streetlab assists both public and private sectors wishing to work to improve the independence and quality of life of visually impaired people.

 

A committed organization

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) stipulates the importance of interventions to improve access in different fields: buildings and roads, public transport, information, and communication.  To succeed, accessibility initiatives need to take into account external constraints including affordability, competing priorities, availability of technology and knowledge, and cultural differences.

To answer to these social challenges, Streetlab contributes to raise awareness of the visual impairment issues, to design innovative products and services and to evaluate these innovations with user panels following a human factors methodology. In order to provide the « best» approach, Streetlab uses several technological platforms and brings together a mutidisciplinary team composed of low vision experts, ergonomists, occupational therapist, accessibility experts.

Picture credit: © Y. Marchand & R. Meffre / Brunet Saunier Architecture