NSRF Program – “Research – Innovate – Create” Action “MANTO Blind Escort Apps” (MANTO)

NSRF Program – “Research – Innovate – Create” Action “MANTO Blind Escort Apps” (MANTO)

In 2018, the Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece, in partnership with the Research Department of the University of Piraeus and the IRIDA LABS, launched the implementation of the project, entitled “Innovative Applications of Autonomous Navigation Digital Escort for the Blind”

Its goal was the development, pilot implementation and evaluation of 2 Innovative Navigation applications for visually impaired people of all ages (blind & partially sighted) for outdoors and public interiors, for their equal access to cultural-educational and other structures and the promotion of their independence in social and professional life in general.

The program was financed under the Operational Program “Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation (EPANEK)”, NSRF 2014-2020.

Online event for the presentation of the Project “Innovative Applications of Autonomous Navigation Digital Escort for the Blind” MANTO Blind, as part of the activities to celebrate the International White Cane Day 2021.

On the occasion of the International White Cane Day, which is celebrated worldwide as a symbol for the independent movement of people with visual impairments, but also for raising public awareness, the Lighthouse for the Blind of Greece organizes an online event, on Monday, October 18th , 2021 at 6.00 pm.

The aim of the event is to highlight the issues of accessibility to Museums–cultural destinations and the independent-autonomous movement of people with visual impairments.

An important axis of the event will be the presentation of the final results of the Project «Innovative Blind Escort Applications for Autonomous Navigation Outdoor and in Museums» MANTO Blind, which was implemented within the Operational Program “Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ΕΠΑΝΕΚ)”, NSRF 2014-2020.

The Lighthouse of the Blind of Greece and the Τactual Museum participated catalytically in the implementation of this project, which aimed at developing, piloting and validating 2 innovative navigation applications, to promote their equal accessibility to cultural-educational and other structures & respectively their independent and autonomous movement and living in general.

The online action will take place on the Zoom platform, at the following link:
https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85905343991?pwd=cTBXUngwZEpEN0R5YXhLQytTNkZHZz09
Meeting ID: 859 0534 3991
Passcode: 1234

Phone connection:
Anyone wishing to attend the event via landline should call 211 198 4488 or 231 118 0599. As soon as they hear a male voice say in English “Welcome to Zoom. Enter your meeting ID followed by hash”, they enter the number 859 0534 3991 and press the hash symbol.
Then, as soon as the voice says “Enter your participant ID followed by hash. Otherwise just press hash to continue» they press the hash symbol again.

For any relevant information, please contact the Secretariat Office at 210 9415222.

The Project «Innovative Blind Escort Applications for Autonomous Navigation Outdoor and in Museums» MANTO Blind, is implemented within the Operational Program “Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ΕΠΑΝΕΚ)”, NSRF 2014-2020.

Online event for the presentation of the Project «Innovative Blind Escort Applications for Autonomous Navigation Outdoor and in Museums» MANTO Blind, in the context of the actions for the celebration of the International White Cane Day 2021.

On the occasion of the International White Cane Day, the Lighthouse of the Blind of Greece implemented an online event on Monday, October 18th 2021, in order to highlight the major issue of accessibility and safe and independent movement of the visually impaired people.
An important axis of the event was the presentation of the Project «Innovative Blind Escort Applications for Autonomous Navigation Outdoor and in Museums» MANTO Blind, which was implemented within the Operational Program “Competitiveness, Entrepreneurship and Innovation (ΕΠΑΝΕΚ)”, NSRF 2014-2020. The Lighthouse of the Blind of Greece and the Τactual Museum participated catalytically in the implementation of this project, which aimed at developing, piloting and validating 2 innovative navigation applications, to promote their equal accessibility to cultural-educational and other structures & respectively their independent and autonomous movement and living in general.

Mr Mpassias Emmanuel, the President of the Board of Directors welcomed all the participants and attendants, whereas the event was honored by the presence of the followings, who addressed their greetings:

Mr Panagopoulos Thanassis, representative of Mr Christopoulos Leonidas, General Secretary of the Ministry of Digital Governance, Mr Kalampalikis George, Deputy Mayor of Health and Social Provision, Mr Askounis Kostas, former Mayor of Kallithea and leader of the Municipal Party “Prooptiki Zois”, Mrs Sakelleridou Panagiota, Vice President of CERB, Mrs Tsavalia Vivi, General Secretary of the National Federation for the Blind of Greece and Mrs Geroulanou Zoe, President of the Hellenic Center-Greek Guide Dogs.

The event was also honored by the Deputy Minister of Education, Mrs Makri Zeta, through a relevant letter and by greetings sent by the Deputy Minister of Culture and Sports, Mr Avgenakis Lefteris, the former Minister & Member of Parliament for the Western Sector of SYRIZA, Mr. Balafas Yiannis, the President of CERB, Mrs Chamonikolaou Sophia and the Vice-President and Head of the Libraries of the Lighthouse, Mr Zakkas Fotis.

After this introduction unit, there was a brief report on the loss of the great archaeologist Evi Touloupa, whose action has been inextricably linked to the efforts of the Lighthouse to ensure through the Tactual Museum the ultimate access of the visually impaired people to the richness of our cultural heritage, as curator of its collection.

Then, there was official presentation of the aforementioned Program, the products of which are under evaluation for continuous feedback from the blind users for the necessary updates as absolutely useful tools.

The presentation had 3 sections:

-Speech entitled: “Innovative autonomous navigation in the city with smartphone for the deaf (Assist. Prof. Milionis A., Filios K., University of Piraeus)
-Speech entitled: “Autonomous navigation and tour of the Touch Museum with a smartphone for the blind (Tsigris A., Assist. Professor Milionis A., University of Piraeus)
-Speech entitled: “Artificial intelligence for visually impaired people: The visual information subsystem of the MANTO project” (Frangoulis N., Iris Labs)

After the above, there was presentation of the Tactual Museum and its contribution to the project MANTO Blind by Ms. Gika Kalliopi, Art Guide for the visually impaired ones, while the body of the event was ended with the speech of Ms. Geroulanou Zoi, President of the Dogs Guides Center of Greece, who presented their great work and stressed the major social need to ensure safe and autonomous conditions for people with visual impairments.

After the completion of the presentations and speeches, there questions by the audience and the Vice President and Head of Cultural Actions of the Lighthouse, Mrs Roukoutaki Gogo, emphasized on the importance of developing technological applications and generally good practices for the benefit of the visually impaired community, underlining the major offer of the Lighthouse towards this direction.

Finally, the President, Mr. Mpassias thanked everyone for their presence and emphasized on the need for actions and partnerships to ensure equal access for all in every field of daily life and society.

On behalf of the Board of Directors of the Lighthouse, the event was also attended by: the Members, Mr. Koromilas Christos, Mr. Lekkas Christos while on behalf of the Management Division, Mrs Mila Georgia, Manager of Social Welfare and Development.

The Board of Directors of the Lighthouse of the Blind of Greece also thanks for their presence the President of the Audit Committee, Mr. Thanassis Papaioannou and Mrs Asideri Dimitra, former Manager and President of the association, as well as all its friends, beneficiaries, members and supporters who attended the event through ZOOM.

Evaluation & Communication of the Applications
The Lighthouse of the Blind of Greece and the Tactual Museum, in their general context of actions to ensure and establish facilitative and modern means for the dignified and quality daily life of the blind, ever after the typical termination of the Project continue evaluating the applications, for continuous feedback from the blind users for the necessary adaptations and their elevation to completely useful tools.

The ultimate goal is to communicate and make them widely available to the blind community in order to extend the positive results in various areas of daily life, the gradual eradication of social exclusion phenomena and the overall upgrade of the quality of life of the target population.
At the same time, there have been strategic informational actions towards the general public, in the context of wider awareness-raising activities for the promotion of conditions for a dignified and qualitative everyday life of the blind and the gradual cultivation of the concepts of acceptance of diversity, inclusion and creative co-existence.

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