The International Assisted Communications for Education Project, iACE

Anthony Edward Ward, Nuno Escudeiro, Pedro Santos, Tatjana Welzer, Hubert Roth, Gregory Makrides, Giorgos Papadourakis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The International Assisted Communications for Education Project, I-ACE is a 2-year EU funded project that commenced October 2016. The project coordinator is Nuno Escudeiro of the Instituto Politechnico Du Porto, Portugal with 7 partners across Europe.
The central focus of the project is the support of deaf students in education and citizenship. Effective communication is essential to a quality of life and education and both of these should be equally available in a socially inclusive society. However, research has shown that access to education is severely compromised for the deaf and hear of hearing and hence barriers exist to students achieving their full potential. The I-ACE project aims to establish an innovative infrastructure that supports live assisted communication between the conventional classroom and the deaf student and between deaf and non-deaf people. Through this infrastructure it is hoped that better integration and better education will result.
The number of people who are deaf or have hearing issues rises with age and, in all age bands, is rising over time. The issue is already a socially important one and is growing in significance each year.
Initial research has shown that there are a vast number of different sign languages across the World (approximately 200) with 47 in Europe alone. They have different language origins with only limited similarity. A specific deliverable of the project will be an automatic bi-directional translation between sign language and written speech across 6 different languages (Portuguese, Slovenian, Greek, German, Cyprus and UK sign languages).
This paper introduces the rationale, aims and objectives of the project and presents some of the results of the initial desk research into the number of deaf individuals and the issues students and young citizens face.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication27th European Association for Education in Electrical and Information Engineering Annual Conference
Place of PublicationGrenoble, France
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 12 Apr 2017

Cite this