About the A4BD project
A4BD is an Erasmus+ project that aims to develop a database of astronomical objects and special software to enable the visually impaired to get in touch with the science of astronomy.
The database will include photographs of astronomical objects (planets, nebulae, galaxies, etc.) sorted according to their specific characteristics to allow analysis and their representation by special software for the visually impaired. The special software will convert astronomical images into sounds that will allow the user not only to study astronomy but to grasp the beauty of the astronomical image as he could not do visually.
In order to achieve this goal, the consortium will include institutions for the education of persons with disabilities who will contribute to their experience, while the University of Patras, as technical and project coordinator, will develop the special software.
The astronomical object database will contain classified astronomical images. The classification of the astronomical images will be analyzed and categorized in such a way as to identify their main visual components that will be transformed into sound signals and which will form the basis of the educational process for which the software will be used.
Astronomy-to-audio conversion software will be provided as freeware to the global educational community. Its tablet and touch screen operation will consist of interaction with touch-sensitive use. As the user touches the various parts of the astronomical image, different sounds will represent its shape, color and other basic elements.
- Equal opportunities in the education of astronomy science at basic level.
- Equal opportunities for the perception of the universe and the inspiration that astronomy has been giving for thousands of years in art, philosophy and science.
- Possibility to simultaneously study and enjoy astronomical images with friends and family as the software developed can be used simultaneously visually and aurally.
- Three short-term educational events to be held at the headquarters of the Partner Coordinator, University of Patras.
- Five educational exchanges of students and teachers in France, Spain, Latvia, Cyprus and Poland.
- Two participations in innovation and technology exhibitions where the results of the project will be presented.
- Three short curricula in Latvia, Cyprus and Poland.
- A conference to disseminate the project’s results and technical works to the project’s themes.
A4BD project partners
A4BD Intellectual Outputs
O1: Astronomical Objects Data Base
Duration: 01/09/2017 – 31/08/2018
O2: Software for aural interpretation of astronomical images
Duration: 01/02/2018 – 31/08/2019
O3: Remote observation website for disabled people
This output concerns the design and implementation of a website that can act as a portal for disabled people that wish to become virtual observers on a remote observatory. A disabled person (as well as anyone) can request an image through the website and after a few days it can be recorded as a digital image with one of the telescopes in our network. Then the image will become available to the person who requested it and simultaneously upload it on our digital platform, with free access to everyone. The website will allow disabled people who cannot access observatories at dark skies to become virtual astronomers from their own home.
Duration: 01/09/2018 – 31/12/2020
Learning, Teaching and Training Activities
Short-term joint staff training events (Adult Education)
- C1: Kickoff meeting in Patras, Greece
5-9 February 2018
- C4: Mid-project evaluation meeting in Patras, Greece
18-22 February 2019
- C8: Final project closure meeting in Patras, Greece
Planned for December 2020
Short-term exchanges of groups of pupils (School Education)
- C2: La Réunion, France
10-14 September 2018
- C3: Sanlúcar, Spain
10-14 December 2018
- C5: Latvia
23-27 September 2019
- C6: Cyprus
17-21 February 2020
- C7: Poland
30 November – 4 December 2020 (online due to COVID-19)
E1 & E2: Expo Participations
Participation in annual science and technology exhibition of Patras called “PatrasIQ”. E1 took place in April 2019 and E2 was planned for May 2020 but was cancelled due to COVID-19.
E4, E5 & E6: Training Curricula
Three training curricula were organized providing training of teachers on digital tools together with evaluation and testing.
The training were organized by project partners in Latvia, Poland and Cyprus.
E3: Closing Conference
A4BD project will close with an international conference that will (a) promote project achievements, (b) enhance their exploitation potential, (c) kick start a community of teachers dealing with special needs or visually impaired people and (d) create awareness on the issue.
The conference will be hosted by the University of Patras and all partners will be represented and will also invite national stakeholders.
The conference will be organized online (due to COVID-19) in December 2020.
A4BD Project news
Conference summarizing the activities in the project Erasmus+ "Astronomy for the Blind and the Disabled". The program also included lectures by people involved in the project and a presentation of functions for the blind and disabled. There was also an opportunity for...
One more software demo and testing took place with the extremely valuable help of Western Greece Blind Association.
Our project was presented as part of Erasmus Days 2020 today in a webinar organized by the regional administration of secondary education.
E5 Multiplier Event in Cyprus took place at the Special School for Children Red Cross in Limassol and Saint Barnabas school of blind in Nicosia. Wonderful musical performances by visually impaired musicians were particularly moving. Also we had our best software test...
C6 meeting took place in Cyprus with wonderful tours at the ancient heritage of the island.
Testing our brand new software at the headquarters of the Western Greece Blind Association. User feedback demonstrated our new version is significantly improved!
Extremely interesting presentations by our project partners including STEM, educational games, astronomical observatories, musical therapy and science for special children!
C5 meeting took place in Liepāja town hosted by Liepājas Neredzīgo biedrība, Partners had interesting visits including Dvēseles veldzes dārzs (Soul Relieve Garden) rehabilitation center for the impaired and disabled and the Irbenes Radioteleskops because there are...
The A4BD consortium published its mid project (September 2017 - February 2019) activities report. You can download it here.
In the following video you can watch a medley of activities carried out by partners for the A4BD project.
A4BD project participated in the 6th Patras IQ innovation expo that took place from 12 to 14th April 2019. The project presented current project results with our booth which exhibited a banner, videos from meeting and activities as well as hands-on demo with the...
The second A4BD software demo took place in Patra, Greece during the C4 meeting. Members of the Western Greece Blind Association tested the newer software and answered the questions of the Software Evaluation Sheet in order to evaluate the progress in the software...
The C4 meeting started in Patras, Greece. As this month we are reaching the middle of the projects, partners presented the activities of the first half of the project.
The C3 meeting finished in Sanlúcar de Barrameda with a very constructive schedule that included meeting sessions, app demo, visit to the Spanish Blind Association and visit to a Special School. The social program was also rich with visit to Doñana National Park and a...
The first A4BD software demo took place in Spain during C3 in Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Participants with visual impairment tested the software and gave the consortium valuable feedback regarding the approach to visual-aural translation.
The first A4BD student exchange was a success! It took place in Reunion island, organized by Collège Emilien Adam de Villiers. Participants from Poland, Spain, Greece, Latvia and Cyprus had the chance to visit the College as well as interesting places on the island...
National Agency IKY
Start date: 1 September 2017
End date: 31 December 2020