Stumbling Block is a conference and fair about social inclusion for persons with disabilities. For a period of two weeks, from the 16th until the 27th of September 2013, Stumbling Block was held at the Katho-Vives University in Kortrijk, Belgium. During the day visitors could participate in the experience trail with different kinds of actions to become more aware of the inconveniences regarding getting older or being disabled. Young and old could ride on a bike while an eye condition was simulated, or you could ride a wheelchair through rough terrain, or you could listen how a live football game is reported for the ones that cannot see. Attendants took a particular interest in a suit that simulates osteoarthritis. Next to the experience trails, Stumbling Block also invited keynote speakers on innovative technologies for ageing and disabled people. During the presentations there were live demos of Acceleglove, a glove that translates sign language into speech. Another popular demo was the i-Cane, a cane for the blind that has a built-in navigation system.
The event gathered a lot of students, but also policy makers and politicians. Thanks to a special business evening, the organisers of Stumbling Block were able to get the attention of the corporate sector active in innovation, technology and care. Allan Milne, a respected software engineer at the University of Abertay Schotland gave a very inspiring talk about user experience as an essential component of technology design. Allan is suffering from a progressive eye condition, which puts him I a very credible but at the same time very enthusiastic position to share his research and experiences.