One of the last work weeks before Christmas. Everybody is preparing for a merry celebration. Well, not entirely. One group of international researchers still keep their minds sharp and active. They gather up at University of Applied Sciences Offenburg to continue their work in the SUITCEYES project.

image of a consortium discussion
Discussion round moderated by Lea Buchweitz and James Gay

On 5th – 6th December the 5th SUITCEYES consortium meeting took place at University of Applied Science Offenburg. Therefore, the project partners travelled from all over the EU to discuss the current state of project together. The ACI researchers gladly welcomed their peers from Sweden, Greece, Britain, the Netherlands, Poland and France in Offenburg. Of course, we also introduced German advent season traditions to our guests.

On Thursday the meeting was started with a short presentation of each member providing updates on their respective work packages. This was then followed by several productive workshops and discussions over the two days.   

cables, notebooks and research on a table
SUITCEYES prototypes are getting prepared for testing.

The workshops and discussions wouldn’t have been so productive without the help of Russ Palmer, who is a person with deafblindness, his wife Riitta Lahtinen and a professional interpreter, Stina Ojala. They are all professionals in Social Haptic Communication which is an area of great interest for us in SUITCEYES. Our guests did not only take part in the testing of our prototypes but also gave constructive feedback and insights on the daily life of a person with deafblindness and the manifold possibilities of Social Haptic Communication. Their participation was a crucial component of the project meeting.

We, the researchers from ACI, also hosted one of the co-creation sessions with Russ Palmer and Riitta Lathinen. Our objective was to collect scenarios of different social interactions, that can be gamified to support individuals with deafblindness in a playful way. We started the co-creation session with short scenarios  which targeted regularly faced problems of persons with deafblindness in social interaction. Volunteers of the session were asked to act the scenarios out in short role-plays to spark the brainstorming process. Subsequently, we discussed the solution the actors have acted out. Russ Palmer and Riitta Lathinen greatly supported our discussion with their personal and professional expertise.

Later on the first day, we tested the prototype of our gamified learning scenario “Follow Your Partner” with Russ Palmer.  His invaluable feedback provided us with new ideas and improvements to help our future developments in creating gamification scenarios for SUITCEYES.

We want to thank Russ Palmer and Riitta Lahtinen to travel all the way to University of Applied Science Offenburg to take part in the discussions and workshops. Your expertise helped us tremendously to learn more on the issues that individuals with deafblindness deal with every day. Your insights have sparked new ideas on topics such as social haptic communication and navigation.

We also want to thank our project partners in the SUITCEYES project for visiting us in Offenburg. It was a very nice and productive time. Thanks for all the hard work and the productive discussions.