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Inclusive Sussex - Everyone’s Business

In October Professor Claire Annesley, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Equalities and Diversity) attended the STEMM Equality Congress in Amsterdam to give a talk about the work Sussex is doing to promote equality, diversity and inclusion across our community.

The Congress is a global event where ideas to improve equality, diversity and inclusion are shared by a wide range of organisations. Claire shared the speaking slot with Sussex research student Daniel Hajas, who promoted an app for blind and visually impaired students.

Daniel shared his unique perspective as a blind scientist and his goal of enabling students like him to pursue their passion for STEMM and open doors to future opportunities.

Daniel, a blind theoretical physicist, heads up a small team of scientists from the University of Sussex that founded social enterprise Grapheel, which developed the IRIS app.

IRIS is an application which connects blind and visually impaired scientists to a network of volunteers with experience in different subject areas. While text readers enable visually impaired people access to scientific papers or textbooks, there are no programmes that translate scientific graphs and images into text. With IRIS, a person can upload an image from their course, a piece of research or website, and volunteers with expertise in that subject area provide a subject-specific description of that image. The description is then returned in a fully accessible form, making sure nobody is left in the dark.

In July we launched Inclusive Sussex, our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, which makes EDI everyone’s business. 

In his speech Daniel echoed this message by calling for STEMM experts to become ambassadors to encourage the experts in their organisations to sign up as volunteers in the IRIS network. Commenting on the conference, Daniel said: “It was fantastic to share Grapheel with Congress members and see their enthusiasm for the project. We are really pleased to launch IRIS to the scientific community and reduce barriers in accessibility to science.”

On Wednesday 7 November and Thursday 8 November STEMM and social science staff, students and researchers can attend a workshop on the IRIS app during Digital Discovery Week. The events are free and your opportunity to make STEMM and Sussex more inclusive. So make it your business to use your knowledge to help others by booking a place on a workshop.

Posted on behalf of: Equality, Diversion and Inclusion
Last updated: Monday, 5 November 2018


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