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Job Opportunity at University of Leeds: Research Fellow in User Needs Analysis


Research Fellow in User Needs Analysis

Do you have a strong background in qualitative research with an interest in the rights of disabled people to access assistive technology? Would you like to work as part of a multidisciplinary European consortium working to improve Independent Living for Deafblind People?

The picture shows two men in conversation using deafblind sign language communication

Haptic conversation through Tactile Sign Language. Courtesy of

Deafblindness - the combination of hearing and visual impairments – has a massive impact on independence and quality of life, when combined with inaccessibility of the built and social environment. Deafblindness is becoming more common as the population ages. Communication with other people and the ability to navigate the environment are key issues with regard to independence and control over one’s own life. The last decade has seen many advances in computer vision, navigation aids and the accessibility of technology, but this has as yet rarely been available to Deafblind people.

SUITCEYES (Smart, User-friendly, Interactive, Tactual, Cognition-Enhancer, Yielding Extended Sensosphere) is an international consortium funded by the European Union Horizon 2020 programme, which hopes to address this problem by appropriating sensor technologies, machine learning, gamification and smart haptic interfaces. It brings together experts in assistive technology, haptic feedback, wearable devices, gamification and disability studies to develop new methods for enabling communication and navigation for Deafblind people.

Within the research consortium, the University of Leeds is responsible for engaging with Deafblind people and their carers to establish communication and navigation needs, to identify barriers they experience to participating in society and develop means of addressing these. This will help to ensure that technical developments in the consortium remain focussed on addressing user needs with regard to Independent Living, and on identifying barriers that require social and policy solutions, rather than purely technical ones.

You will have a strong background in qualitative research, with the ability to arrange, conduct and analyse interviews and focus groups, and work across disciplinary boundaries to communicate these issues to engineers and computer scientists.

To explore the post further or for any queries you may have, please contact: 

Raymond Holt, Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering

Tel: +44 (0)113 343 7936 or email: