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Disability Day

(*) - 22/11/2019

Inria announces its Disability Plan

On 19th November Inria devoted a whole day to the theme of disability, as part of European Disability Employment Week. The event saw the announcement of a Disability Plan covering research and employment on the subject within the institute.

As part of European Disability Employment Week (18 to 22 November), Inria announced the institute’s ambition to step up its efforts to enhance the actual impact it has with regard to disability. CEO Bruno Sportisse , said “disability must be made one of Inria’s main causes, not only in terms of research but also in our capacity as an employer. Recruitment, assessments, working conditions, etc: there is a lot of work still to be done, and the involvement of everyone will be necessary in order to implement our Disability Plan ”.

In this regard, the Disability Plan will be a major cause of the 2019-2023 performance agreement. Its role will be to boost the societal impact of the research undertaken within Inria via the launch, in 2020, of an IPL on disability, the creation of partnerships for testing full-scale research projects and by promoting transfer through the start-up ecosystem. Inria is also keen to pursue the commitment it has made with regard to public policy in order to ensure progress is made on digital accessibility for everyone. However, this initiative will also be of vital importance within Inria. The institute is aiming to become a model employer, both from the point of view of recruitment, through its objective for 6% of the workforce to be made up of persons with disabilities, and in terms of support for staff.

The announcement was made at Inria’s offices in Paris in the presence of Sophie Cluzel, Secretary of State in charge of People with Disabilities, who made a visit on 19th November to present the French government’s interministerial strategy “Together, let’s be bold in employment ”.

Research and innovation demonstrations on the agenda

The day provided an opportunity to showcase a selection of research projects carried out jointly with persons with disabilities, out of a total of 25 Inria project teams working on the subject. Start-ups with their roots in these research projects presented some of the technology they have developed, including NeurInnov, which is developing active implantable medical devices, UT4H and its project for home automation systems, DomAssist, which helps elderly individuals to remain at home, and Ullo, which develops digital therapies for cognitive issues and for dealing with anxiety.

Other projects still in their infancy were also presented, including the ADAPT project (involving IRISA, INSA Rennes, EP Inria Rainbow and Hybrid), the aim of which is to develop a smart, connected wheelchair for paraplegic individuals with limited mobility in their arms. The Camin project team (University of Montpellier, Inria), meanwhile, spoke about their research into electrical stimulation, the goal of which is to restore muscular activity. Lastly, the application project Collège Plus, which was set up to promote the inclusion of children with autism or intellectual deficiencies in schools, was presented by the Flowers project team (Ensta ParisTech, Inria Bordeaux).

Keywords: Health Employment Disability