AUSY’s Mission Handicap at the 3rd edition of the Challenge 24H Innov’Handicap

19 July 2018
Challenge 24H Innov'Handicap
At the end of June, AUSY participated in the Challenge 24H Innov’Handicap, organised by the university EPF-Ecole d’Ingénieur-e-s. This challenge brought together 400 engineering students from the school’s three campuses of Sceaux, Montpellier and Troyes. Their challenge was to find innovative solutions for improving the daily life of people with disabilities.

The 24 hours were marked by activities and opportunities for the students to gain knowledge that way they could improve and refine their projects. The students gained awareness via presentations from people with disabilities and they began to work on their projects with experts and coaches available to assist. Several role-play sessions and activities, as well as film screenings all throughout the night, were offered to inspire the students and develop their ideas. The morning after, the teams presented their projects and prizes were awarded. All in all, a very busy 24 hours!

Multiple businesses, including AUSY, were available to support the students during the gorgeous and balmy day. Elisabeth, Mission Handicap Officer at AUSY, was there and shared her experience with us.

“This is the third consecutive year that I have participated in the Challenge. The objective of my attendance is to be able to support and coach the students in defining their innovative project that is intended for people with disabilities. In parallel, I also share with them my experience as a person with a visual disability that I live and work with every day. My experience makes it possible to illustrate, in a concrete manner, the difficulties that people with visual impairments may face. This makes it possible to steer students in the choice of innovative solutions that they propose.

As was the case in previous years, many ideas, all equally interesting, emerged. It was even more enriching this year since there was even more interaction with many groups of students. These ideas fall within multiple over-arching themes, such as mobility and accessibility, specific arrangements for educational establishments, childhood and disability and recreation and disability.”

Elisabeth also discussed the advantages of the Challenge 24H for both students and companies.

“The advantage of this type of challenge is to be able to directly raise the awareness of the students, and the potential future managers of tomorrow, on the subject of disability. The added value of this Challenge is that it falls within a positive approach: the students are becoming engineers, getting engaged with proposals of new technologies for improving the daily life of people with disabilities.

Meeting professionals with disabilities, as well as representatives from diverse companies, also sends a strong signal: disability and professional activity are absolutely compatible, contrary to common belief.

On the business side, this makes it possible to position ourselves alongside schools with whom we are partners and to strengthen our links. We contribute through participation in this type of challenge that promotes innovation but also diversity via my attendance and my presentation of our Mission Handicap and its approach.

It’s an event that brings people together and is as beneficial for the students as for the companies which participate in it.”

Eager to learn, the students learned a lot from the personal experiences shared by the coaches. These testimonies and the interest of the students created a dialogue, rather than a lecture, between the coaches and the student. As soon as Elisabeth introduced herself and shared her experiences, the students peppered her with questions. With the assistance of their coaches, the students were able to refine their ideas and offer solutions that better suited the target populations, such as a motorised inflatable buoy that makes it easier for people using wheelchairs to enjoy the water or an application intended for those with hearing impairments that makes it possible to define a listening area.

According to Elisabeth, “It is in everyone’s interest that the theme of disability is brought up during one’s educational journey. It must be an integral part of educational programmes in order to promote the richness of diversity and openness towards others. Bringing another perspective on people with disabilities makes it possible to leave stereotypes and stigmatisation behind and to value what each person can undertake and bring.”

To learn more about the Challenge and its winners, please click on this link: http://www.epf.fr/actualite/3eme-edition-du-challenge-24h-innov-handicap