PhD opportunity in Design Digital Services for people with reduced mobility

ELLIADD Lab, University of Franche-Comté

Location: Besançon, ‎France

Project Description

The EASING project aims to facilitate the mobility of PRMs (in accordance with the Law of February 11, 2005) in search of information and temporary accommodation; to facilitate their social inclusion through the design of adapted experiences and services; to qualify existing accommodation and to evaluate their compliance with the legislation. It is part of a communicative (Hulin, 2020) and holistic (Brangier & Robert, 2014) approach to the design of experiences and services in favor of PRM mobility.

In the EASING project, the PhD student will:

1) Investigate the uses of people with disabilities seeking temporary housing.

2) Model the needs and mobility pathways, services and uses of adapted housing.

3) Design and develop an information search and navigation interface.

4) To design and develop an interface demonstrator adapted for PRM without visual impairment,

5) Evaluate the developed prototypes.


ELLIADD Lab (University of Franche-Comté) has been conducting research on digital service design for years, particularly in information and communication sciences; following an approach focused on users' activity and their informational needs (Tajariol, 2016; Hulin, 2020). Several research studies conducted on the topic of PRM mobility have resulted in recommendations that are now being introduced into the process of building adapted public transport (Grisé et al., 2019). Also, smart and connected housing are the subject of several studies that highlight the satisfaction of users (Marikyan, 2019), but also of specialized and less frequent audiences such as the blind (Bempong, 2020). While they are essential today for a tourist or business trip, research that studies accommodation booking platforms only addresses disability from other themes, such as gender (Sánchez-Franco, 2021). Yet, in France, 18% of the population is disabled (INSEE, 2020), and this doubles when temporary disabilities are added. However, according to Randle (2009), "the main challenge is no longer the lack of appropriate accommodation (physical barrier), but the identification of appropriate accommodation (informational barrier)".

Based on this observation, ELLIADD Lab aims to facilitate the search for information on adapted housing. Indeed, our outcomes (Hulin & al., 2021) show that it's urgent to link together data related to classifications of disabling pathologies, personal health data, housing characteristics, accessibility equipment and legislative texts. Hence our proposal to characterize housing in relation to the types of disabilities and regulatory constraints. Such a knowledge base will help to overcome the barrier identified with users, who do not wish to transmit precise information about their health while finding housing adapted to their specific needs.

On the other hand, this characterization makes it possible to verify the level of accessibility of the digital model of a building or home. This approach is in line with the Building Information Modeling (BIM) 2022 standardization plan, which plans to generalize the use of digital mock-ups by building owners. The proposed semantic model will also be compatible with the IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) open standard for digital mock-ups, which also enables accessibility equipment to be qualified. To overcome the informational barrier of PRMs looking for adapted housing, the EASING project will analyze the uses of adapted housing by PRMs. This analysis will provide a model that will be compared with the digital model and 3D surveys of the housing. This step will allow to characterize the accessibility equipment of the dwelling and to propose to the PRM a qualified visual representation. However, if accessibility standards exist for new housing, the description of innovative equipment and services is by definition outside these standards. It is therefore necessary to add innovative equipments to adapted housing (sensors and interfaces concerning health and housing uses), both to meet the needs of PRMs and to describe this approach in the models of adapted housing.


This is a PhD grant offer. If interested please contact:

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