EASING: health, mobility of people and accessible housing

The EASING project means mobility of people And accessible housing. It translates into: mobility of people and accessible housing. It is funded by the Burgundy-Franche-Comté region. This research focuses on the design of services centered on the needs of Persons with Reduced Mobility looking for temporary accommodation.

mobilité des personnes et logements accessibles : une personne en situation de handicap
Person with a disability. Photo: Pexels.

Because disability affects 12 million French people, it is a French and regional priority. In May 2021, the French government launched the following actions.

  • “Developing innovative and inclusive housing solutions”;
  • and “Mobilizing technologies to improve people's autonomy”.

Indeed, many technologies can help achieve these goals. Thus, we have access to navigation systems in geographical data, virtual tours in real estate, connected housing, etc. However, taken in isolation, these solutions do not meet the needs of people with reduced mobility (PRM). Indeed, the needs range from organizing the trip to finding short-term accommodation.

The theme "mobility of people and accessible housing" allows us to work according to three aspects:

Information research, housing modeling and design of innovative services

  1. The search for information on suitable housing and its environment, and its compliance with legislation.
  2. The modeling of the housing or the building, to determine the needs or check the points of accessibility during a virtual visit.
  3. The use of housing and its innovative adaptation services.

In accordance with the Law of February 11, 2005, the EASING project aims to facilitate the mobility of persons with reduced mobility. This project aims to facilitate their search for information and temporary accommodation. But also to facilitate their social inclusion by designing adapted experiences and services; qualify existing housing and assess their compliance with legislation. This project is part of a communicational (Hulin, 2020) and holistic (Brangier & Robert, 2014) approach to experience design. It promotes the setting up of services in favor of the mobility of persons with reduced mobility.

The analysis of this global experience requires complementary scientific skills. Thereby ELLIADD takes care of the design of the mobility experience of PRMs, the analysis of needs and uses. For its part, the Burgundy Information Laboratory characterizes the accessibility of housing and the regulatory constraints of buildings. Finally, FEMTO-ST deals with the development of connected object services in housing. The research will also be carried out in the BFC region using regional data. As for our partner, the Dijon company toolib.fr , it provides a service for connecting landlords and PRM travellers.

Mobility of people and accessible housing; technical and scientific argument

ELLIADD has been conducting design research for years, particularly in information and communication sciences. Indeed, we thus follow an approach centered on the activity of users and their informational needs (Tajariol, 2016; Hulin, 2020). We work with Toolib.fr, supported by Europe. In addition, ELLIADD, during spring-summer 2021, studied the use of digital mobility services by people with reduced mobility. In addition, this study showed, despite favorable legislation, little consideration of the real needs of PRMs (Hulin & Rivière, 2021).

A great deal of research conducted on the subject of the mobility of PRMs has resulted in recommendations. Now, some of them are introduced into the process of building adapted public transport (Grisé et al., 2019). Also, smart and connected housing is the subject of several studies. These highlight user satisfaction (Marikyan, 2019). They are also interested in specialized and less frequent audiences such as the blind (Bempong, 2020). However, transport platforms are essential today for tourist or professional travel. However, research that studies these platforms only addresses disability from other themes, such as gender (Sánchez-Franco, 2021). However, in France, 18% of the population is disabled (INSEE, 2020), and this doubles when adding temporary disabilities.

Physical Barriers and Informational Barriers

According to Randle (2009)…

“the main challenge is no longer the lack of appropriate accommodation (physical obstacle), but the identification of appropriate accommodation (informational obstacle)”.

Based on this observation, ELLIADD aims to facilitate the search for information on suitable accommodation. Indeed, the study we conducted (Hulin & al., 2021) leads to an interesting observation. On the one hand, it raises the difficulty and the need to articulate together the data related to the classifications of disabling pathologies. However, it is a question of linking them to personal health data, to the characteristics of housing. And finally to accessibility equipment and legislative texts. Hence, our proposal to characterize housing in relation to the types of handicaps and the regulatory constraints. Such a knowledge base will break the lock identified with users of toolib.fr. Often, they do not wish to transmit information on their health while finding accommodation adapted to their specific needs.

The Building Information Modeling Standardization Plan

On the other hand, this characterization makes it possible to check the level of accessibility of the digital model of a building or a dwelling. Indeed, this approach is part of the Building Information Modeling (BIM) 2022 standardization plan. This plan plans to generalize the use of digital models by project owners. The proposed semantic model will also be compatible with the IFC (Industry Foundation Classes) open standard for digital modeling. This model also makes it possible to qualify accessibility equipment.

To support the mobility of people and accessible housing, we want to overcome the informational obstacle of people with reduced mobility looking for suitable housing. Also, the EASING project provides for the analysis of the uses of adapted housing by people with reduced mobility. For example, this analysis will provide a model that will be compared with the digital model and the 3D surveys of the accommodation. That said, this step will make it possible to characterize the accessibility equipment of the accommodation and offer disabled people a qualified visual representation. However, accessibility standards exist for new housing. Thus, the description of innovative equipment and services escapes by definition from these standards. It is therefore necessary to add innovative equipment to adapted housing. We are thinking here of sensors and interfaces concerning health and housing uses). This is both to meet the needs of people with reduced mobility and to describe models of suitable housing.


In the EASING project, ELLIADD and his team will…

  1. Investigate the uses of people with disabilities looking for temporary accommodation; which will allow the LIB to enrich the knowledge base on housing accessibility. Similarly, FEMTO will take into account the constraints to build the appropriate sensor network.
  2. Model the needs and mobility routes, services and uses of adapted housing. The usage scenarios produced will allow FEMTO to identify the most suitable services to meet the needs. The aim is also to design suitable innovative equipment. And finally to promote its characterization by the LIB in accordance with the legislation;
  3. Design and develop an information search and navigation interface. This will allow PRMs to interrogate this knowledge base in collaboration to integrate it into a semantic framework.
  4. Develop an interface demonstrator suitable for people with reduced mobility without visual impairment. In addition, it is a question of producing a virtual visit, from the 3D surveys of the dwellings. This step will be led by the project stakeholders IRRIGATED of ELLIADD (ANER project 2021-2024), with its AR/VR/3D experts.
  5. test (in perception or in experimentation) and evaluate the prototypes developed.

FEMTO-ST specializes in the Internet of Things, sensor networks, and smart homes for the elderly. The LIB has academic expertise in the symbolic AI of BIM processes. This work is logically articulated with the Dijon start-up Toolib. This will facilitate contact with its regional association partners. These are the territorial disabled sports committees, the local France AVC branches, the regional clientele of lessors and so-called PMR travellers, etc.

Thus, ELLIADD thus initiates the dynamics of a fundamentally multidisciplinary work, closely articulating human and social sciences and computer science.

Mobility of people and accessible housing: expected results

  1. Investigate the uses of disabled people looking for temporary accommodation.
  2. Model the needs and mobility routes, services and uses of adapted housing.
  3. Design and develop an information search and navigation interface.
  4. Design and develop an interface demonstrator adapted for PRMs without visual impairment, in virtual visit.
  5. Test (perception tests or experimentation) and evaluate the prototypes developed.


Brangier, É., & Robert, J.-M. (2014). Prospective ergonomics: Foundations and challenges. Human Labour, 77(1), 1‑20.

Grisé, E., Boisjoly, G., Maguire, M., & El-Geneidy, A. (2019). Elevating access: Comparing accessibility to jobs by public transport for individuals with and without a physical disability. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, 125, 280-293.

Hulin, T. (2020). Interactive experience design and writing for digital media. A scriptural theory of experience applied to instructional design and the pedagogy of design. 361p. [HDR memory]. CIMEOS.

Hulin, T., & Rivière, T. (2021). User experience on the toolib.fr website: Final study report (p. 158). University of Franche-Comte.

Brangier, É., & Robert, J.-M. (2014). Prospective ergonomics: Foundations and challenges. Human Labour, 77(1), 1‑20.

Clerk, F., & Tajariol, F. (2016). A Semiotic and Cognitive Approach to the Semantic Indexing of Digital Learning Resources. In Knowledge, Information and Creativity Support Systems (pp. 383-390). Springer.

Randle, M., & Dolnicar, S. (2019). Enabling people with impairments to use Airbnb. Annals of Tourism Research, 76, 278-289. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.annals.2019.04.015

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