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Thematics :

Equal access to training is a key NEOMA commitment. The School has recently acquired two new telepresence robots for use by vulnerable students obliged to attend their classes online.

Some students suffer from chronic and serious illnesses. During the pandemic, it is evident that their presence on-campus is unadvisable to avoid the risk of contracting Covid-19. It is for such students that two new telepresence robots were acquired by NEOMA in September 2020, with the financial support of the audit firm EY. The School now has 4 of these robots in Reims and Rouen. NEOMA has been using such equipment for a few years already to allow those students forced to remain at home to attend classes remotely.

Robots : a real in-class presence

But these robots are more than just a  video-conference resource. “A video-conference is static,” says Céline Articlaut, Head of NEOMA’s Diversity Mission, “whilst the robot allows users to actually occupy a place in the classroom, raise their hand, intervene, approach the board, take part in group work … The range of interaction is much wider, and although they are at home the students feel they are actually with their classmates.” All they need is a computer and a good connection. They enter their codes and take control of the robot. In the classroom, their face appears on the screen.

Wellness at NEOMA is behind these resources

NEOMA is acquiring more and more equipment to ensure equal training access for all. And in particular, for students with disabilities. The robots add to the existing range of available equipment: ergonomic chairs and adaptable tables, amplifiers for the hearing impaired, a screen-enhancer, a special keyboard and an electronic magnifying glass for the visually impaired. These resources are handled by the School’s Wellness Centre. The robots are an integral part of NEOMA’s diversity and openness policy. And its commitment to accessibility.