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City’s Eva Park wins the 2015 Tech4Good People’s Award

The multi-user virtual world, created by researchers from the School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering and the School of Health, gives people with aphasia unique opportunities to practice their speech and establish social connections.
by City Press Office (General enquiries)

Tech4Good winners 

Eva Park, a collaborative research project between academics in the School of Mathematics, Computer Science and Engineering and the School of Health, has carried off the 2015 Tech4Good People’s Award. 

The Tech4Good Awards ceremony, held on July 14th, recognised organisations and individuals using digital technology to improve the lives of others and draws attention to the many UK charities, businesses and volunteers harnessing the power of technology to benefit the community.

Eva Park, is a multiple-user virtual world for people with aphasia, a language disorder typically caused by stroke. Eva Park enables users to practice their speech and establish social connections.  It was created by the EVA Project, funded by the Stroke Association, which has for the last three years investigated the accessibility and usability of the virtual world, and explored its impact on communication, and feelings of social isolation. Eva Park was a Finalist in the Accessibility category of the Tech4Good Awards.

Stephanie Wilson, Reader in Human-Computer Interaction in the Department of Computer Science and a co-investigator on the EVA Project, said:

“We are delighted at this recent recognition and awareness of City’s collaborative research. This award shines a spotlight on innovative research work currently underway which aims to provide therapeutic digital technology that will benefit people with aphasia, of whom there are many thousands in the UK and around the world”.

Professor Jane Marshall is also pleased with Eva Project’s recent triumph at the 2015 Tech4Good Awards:

“Aphasia is a devastating condition affecting every aspect of a person’s life. This award draws attention to the needs of people with aphasia and shows how creative uses of technology can supplement (but not replace) more conventional face to face therapy”.

In June 2015, Ms Wilson and Professor Marshall shared a prize at this year’s 8th annual University Research Competition prize for their research project titled, ‘Taking Eva Park into the wild: developing impact from a technological aphasia research project’.

Definition
Aphasia

Aphasia is an impairment of language, affecting the production or comprehension of speech and the ability to read or write. Aphasia is always due to injury to the brain – most commonly from a stroke, particularly in older individuals. However, brain injuries resulting from aphasia may also arise from head trauma, from brain tumours, or from infections.

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