Vodafone Full-time Angel from the Faculty of Informatics, ELTE, Hungary

Brigitta Miksztai-Réthey was selected as a Full-time Angel for 2014 with her application titled "Tutorials for learning to use cell phones for people with severe multiple disabilities”.

Brigitta is an assistant lecturer at the Department of Media & Educational Informatics at Eötvös Loránd University's Faculty of Informatics and was an active participant of the EIT ICT Labs Budapest Associate Partner Group’s carrier research project on ICT and Innovation in the subproject „Development and test games for children with special needs”. Now she will work with special need experts at the Alternative and Augmentative Communication Center of the Bliss Foundation on complex rehabilitation tasks concerning children and young people with severe multiple disabilities, including speech and motion impairments.

The Full-time Angel Programme offers an opportunity for people committed to social goals to spend a year focused entirely on an activity which they undertake for the benefit of the public. For this time period, the Vodafone Hungary Foundation provides a competitive salary for the three Angels, who enter the application jointly with a nonprofit organisation. The Full-time Angel Programme (‘World of Difference') was first announced by Vodafone New Zealand followed by Australia, the Netherlands and Ireland. Vodafone Hungary Foundation joined in 2008 expecting primarily applications that seek solutions for a societal problem through mobile technology. This year they announced the call for the 6th time - so far 24 Full-time Angel took part in the programme. All projects are unique, niche and innovative.

Brigitta Miksztai-Réthey, as a Full-time Angel of Vodafone, plans to work out educational and instruction materials for the practice of computer and mobile device use with the assistance of clients (students and young adults) of the Bliss Foundation that later can be personalized and distributed free in a large circle of public, including professionals, parents, institutions, and can be included in the teaching curricula. These special curricula will thus not only provide solution for the 5000 Hungarian people with severe disablilities, but also for those with chronic illnesses (like speech incapability after cerebral infarction) or certain learning disabilities to make them capable of using computer and mobile devices for communication.

For these young people the world of Internet and mobile technology opens the door to the world, being the only source for keeping contacts, for entertainment or even for work. Personalization of devices development (mouse replacements, special keyboards, etc.) as well as teaching curricula is especially essential for their successful communication. The structured knowledge base and the systematic searchable content of the project on the Internet will call for the community task of helping and mentoring each other by sharing experience and individual knowledge through the worldwide web.

Brigitta beside being a teacher of informatics at the university has a knowledge in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and works with special need children for already ten years as a volunteer at the Bliss Foundation. At the institute, where beside complex rehabilitation a free national AAC device library, teacher training and the marketing of AAC communication also takes place, she spent a full day each week in the last four years.

Videos to demonstrate her work (subtitles in English):

Good luck for Brigitta in her angel work!

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