Exploring the Exhibition at the 2020 Zero Project Conference : Original article published on the Zero Project Facebook page.

ZERO PROJECT·THURSDAY, 20 FEBRUARY 2020·

READING TIME: 3 MINUTES

Making art accessible, turning people with intellectual disabilities into lifeguards or a tool that encourages users to discover their environment. Learn more from this year’s exhibitors. According to Martin Essl, the Zero Project Conference is also a market place for social innovations. These are displayed in the exhibition area, where this year 40 organizations are presenting their solutions and making new contacts. We accompanied the initiator of the Zero Project Conference during his visit. Since a new museum will open in Vienna in March featuring works from the family’s art collection, he is particularly interested in inclusive art education.So we first went to the booth of VRVis, the “Center for Virtual Reality and Visualization”. VRVis is Austria’s leading research institution in the field of visual computing. At the Zero Project Conference VRVis presents tactile reliefs that make artworks perceptible in the truest sense of the word. In addition, multimedia guides offer information in sign language, as audio files or in simple language. At the stand, visitors can experience the “Bird Thief” by Pieter Bruegel the Elder in multimedia form and discover things in the picture that really nobody can see.

Opposite VRiS we meet David Fazio, the founder of Helix Opportunity. His motto: „Designs are Flawed not people“. To fix this problem he has developed no less than the word´s most accessible, inclusive and engaging Learning Management System. And for those who don’t believe it, they can try it out for themselves at the stand.From Education to ExplorationRight next to it, Fundación ONCE of Spain is dedicated to financial education for people with intellectual disabilities. For their innovation ONCE had been awarded 2016 with a Zero Project Award. By now, the online platform “Inclusive Finances” is already available in Spain, Portugal, Greece and Ukraine. However, ONCE is still looking for new partners in new countries.How far inclusive education can go is shown by the Centro Studi e Formazione Gymnasium from Italy. The organisation trains mainly people with intellectual disabilities to become lifeguards. These not only find work in pools but even train firefighters in the field of reanimation.

Finally, Smile Smart Technology from Great Britain wants to start inclusive education much earlier. Or should we rather say inclusive investigation? Their Drivedeck is an assessment and teaching tool, to motivate children who are excluded from most mainstream schools because of their disability, to explore their environment on their own – in safety. The semi-autonomous driving solution can also be moved with just one very easy to use button. So get moving. There is even more to explore in the exhibition area of the ZeroCon20!

PS. You can find a list of all exhibitors with descriptions of their innovations in the Zero Project Conference App.

Article by: Fritz Ruhm; For press inquiries and questions please contact ruhm@perdomo.at