Oussama Metatla

I am a Senior Lecturer in  Human-Computer Interaction and EPSRC Fellow at the University of Bristol. I’m Deputy Head of the Bristol Interaction Group and I lead the Mixed-Ability Interaction Lab. (aka BIG::Access Lab)

My main field of research is Human-Computer Interaction (HCI), and my team and I investigate how HCI as an applied field of inquiry can contribute to making human society more inclusive of people with disabilities.  We start from the premises that a) an inclusive future is not only desirable but one that should be actively designed, b) that people with disabilities should be actively involved in co-designing it, and c) that bias toward the visual modality in traditional HCI paradigms, e.g. GUI, WIMP, is a detriment to inclusion because they ignore and compromise the richness and diversity of human abilities and experiences. We are particularly interested in exploring how insights and principles from multisensory interactioncrossmodal perception and embodied cognition could be used to design more inclusive interactions between people with and without disabilities. We use a mixed-methods approach in our research, combining theory with field work, co-design, and controlled studies and evaluation.

Ongoing projects and research interests include:

  • Inclusive technologies for blind and visually-impaired children
  • Hybrid technologies for people with dementia
  • Social play technologies for autistic and non-autistic children
  • Virtual & Augmented reality and inclusive social interaction for people with limb difference
  • Crossmodal perception applications in HCI and HRI
  • Multisensory interaction, emotions and well-being
  • Voice user interfaces, Auditory Displays, and Sonification
  • Accessibility and Assistive Technology.
  • Child-Computer Interaction
  • Co-design, particularly with mixed-ability groups
  • Quantitative approaches to embodied interaction

Prior to this, I was a postdoctoral researcher on two EPSRC projects at Queen Mary University and I received my PhD in HCI from the University of London in 2011.

The CRITICAL Project

Between 2016 and 2021, I held a 5-years EPSRC Early Career Fellowship which supported my research into inclusion, co-design, crossmodal perception and multisensory interaction. In this fellowship, I focused on ways of apply the above principles to design and research education technologies that can improve the inclusion of visually-impaired children when they learn alongside their sighted peers in mainstream schools. Read more here

Check out our growing consortium on inclusive education technologies here