The 17th conference on information and communication technologies for people with specific needs took part on Saturday 25 March in Prague Congress Centre. One of the main topics was the Internet of Things. The organizer, BMI association noticed a big interest immediately after the registration was opened. At the beginning of March 400 participants had registered and the capacity of the event, which satisfied the visitors as well as the organizers, was full.
"We organized all seventeen years of the INSPO conference about technologies for people with specific needs in Prague Congress Centre. Our decision was mainly based on the fact that the venue is built to barrier-free standards but gradually we have found out that the most important advantage is the immense helpfulness of the staff. Whatever we came up with we never heard the production department or technicians that it was impossible. It is also PCC staff credit that conference attendees come back again no matter if they are on wheel-chairs, visually or hearing-impaired or have other specific needs," said the Chairman of BMI Mr. Jaroslav Winter.
During the extensive programme, which could be followed on-line, the attendees got familiar with technology innovations which remarkably facilitates life of people with specific needs. Great interest was arisen by a lecture by Roman Stašík, representative of Vodafone. His lecture was about the Internet of Things and the visitors learned about new technologies which enable communication between things. Part of the morning session was dedicated to presentation of an application called Záchranka (Emergency services). Thanks to this application people can quickly and easily contact emergency services, call for an ambulance and send a message about their location and health condition including their specific impairment.
Spain introduced the EVA Facial Mouse – an application which enables to control a mobile devices through a web camera monitoring of the user's face. Eva Facial Mouse is excellent for people after amputation, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, with muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Slovakia was represented by Dušan Baranec from Normex. He introduced a programme called Visual reading for teaching reading and support of verbalization and symbolic thinking at children and adults with various diagnosis. Attention was also drawn to education and employment of people with impairment, teaching aids for development of children with visual and combined impairment and literary competition Internet and My Handicap.
Representatives of Vodafone Rafael Foundation announced the winner of the award for use of ICT innovations for better life of people with impairment. The winning company Centre for Children Hearing Tam Tam got 200,000 CZK for their mobile application meant for the parents of deaf children. Deaf children are from 95 % born to hearing parents who do not have any experience with hearing impairment. Thanks to the application they are able to master basics of the sign language quickly after the birth of their child. INSPO conference is a project which is fully supported by PCC staff and it is encouraging that the interest of public is growing. It started with 133 attendees in 2001 and this year the number climbed up to 400.