Fostering Inclusion using Social Robots in mixed-visual ability classrooms using multimodal feedback
Visually Impaired children are increasingly included in mainstream schools as an inclusive education practice. However, even though they are side-by-side with their sighted peers, they face classroom participation issues, lack of collaborative learning, reduced social engagement, and a high risk for isolation. Robots have the potential to act as intelligent and accessible social agents that actively promote inclusive classroom experiences by leveraging their physicality, bespoke social behaviors, sensors, and multimodal feedback. However, the design of social robots for mixed-visual abilities classrooms remains mostly unexplored. In the presentation, we will share our research on exploring robot multimodal feedback such as movement, speech, and textures to foster inclusion in group activities between mixed-visual abilities children. In the presentation we will also share how we can use robots, with its different modalities and roles in promoting inclusion among children with different visual abilities.
Isabel Neto is in the final year of her PhD IST – Lisbon University, Portugal, is a researcher of GAIPS Lab (Group of AI for People and Society, INESC-ID) and a collaborator in ITI Lab (Interactive Technologies Institute, LARSyS). Her research lies at the intersection of accessibility, education, artificial intelligence, and human-robot interaction to advance new robot modalities for inclusion in mixed-visual ability contexts. Prior to her PhD, Isabel was a senior manager at a telecommunication company for 20+ years.