Thursday, 24 September. Renata Dezso, doctoral researcher at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest is the winner of 2020 year’s EDF-Oracle digital accessibility scholarship (6,500 EUR) for students with disabilities.

“Design and Disability culture need to use the different strengths to develop shared knowledge and practices to deal with the complexity of problems”

This scholarship was launched in 2015 by the European Disability Forum (EDF) and Oracle to promote digital accessibility in Europe. It aims to raise awareness on the topic among European universities and encourage uptake of accessibility in their Information Technologies and Computer Sciences curricula. In the long run, the organisers hope to see a substantial pool of digital accessibility specialists in Europe to drive inclusive and participatory innovation.

During the online award ceremony, Humberto Insolera, Member of EDF Executive committee and this year’s scholarship jury, thanked Oracle and members of jury, noting that “with this scholarship, we aim to recognise outstanding students with disabilities and support their journey towards becoming experts in digital accessibility. We believe that no one better than them knows how crucial it is to design for all, so that everyone in our societies benefits from innovation and technological progress.”

Ms Dezso’ study focuses on user experience related to digitally manufactured objects, for example using a 3D printer to manufacture a prosthetic based on computer data. She received clear preference by the jury, with the majority of the members giving her the highest scores, especially appreciating the involvement of persons with disabilities in the innovation process.

Kent Boucher, Senior Director, Accessibility Program Office at Oracle concluded that “The EDF and Oracle collaboration is an example of a commitment to inclusion. This scholarship illustrates Oracle’s commitment to creating accessible technologies and products that enhance the overall workplace environment and contribute to the productivity of our employees, our customers, and our customers’ customers.”

EDF-Oracle e-Accessibility Scholarship jurors included: Humberto Insolera, Member of EDF Executive committee; Atidzhe Alieva-Veli, MEP, Member of the Disability Intergroup, European Parliament; Axel Leblois, President and Executive Director of the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICT (G3ICT); Shadi Abou-Zahra, Strategy and Technology Specialist Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) at the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C); and Kent Boucher, Senior Director, Accessibility Program Office, Oracle.

Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable. Once I gave the headphones a thorough once-over exam, I tried them on. As I mentioned, they have a classic over-the-ear style and just looking at them, the padding on the ear pieces seem adequate and the peak of the headband seemed to be a bit lacking, but you don’t really know comfort unless you try on the product. So, I slipped the headphones on and found them to be exquisitely comfortable.

If no one hates you, no one is paying attention. If attention is what you want for vanity, confidence, or, hell — to make a decent living — then know that it’s not instantaneous. Every single person that you’re currently paying attention to, at some point in their lives, was in your exact position. They kept at it and worked enough so that others started listening. Also know that if no one is watching, you can experience true freedom. Dance in your underwear. Write entirely for yourself. Like there’s a going-out-of-business sale. Find yourself — not in some coming-of-age hippie way involving pasta and ashrams— but in a way that helps you draw your own line in the sand for what matters and what doesn’t. Do what you want to do, just because you want to do that thing. This will build confidence that will come in handy later.