Team & Partners

Oussama Metatla

ousmet2Oussama is a Senior Lecturer in Human-Computer Interaction, and Principal Investigator of the CRITICAL project. He completed his PhD in 2011 at Queen Mary University of London on the use of sound to support non-visual interaction with digital information. He was a Researcher Co-Investigator on two EPSRC projects Crossmodal Collaborative Interfaces (2010-2012) and Design Patterns for Inclusive Collaboration (2012-2015), which were direct extensions of his PhD thesis. He was also an Associate Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University (2014-2015) before being awarded an EPSRC Early Career Fellowship, hosted at the University of Bristol.

Clare Cullen

Clare is a Research Associate on the CRITICAL project. She is about to complete her PhD at Queen Mary University of London as part of the Media and Arts Technology programme. Her research focuses on the relationship between rhythm processing and reading skills, and the potential for multisensory cues to facilitate rhythm perception and production. She has also worked as a researcher on several EC-funded projects looking at the role of technology in learning and inclusion, and has experience leading workshops on music, sound and digital media with children and young people.

Feng Feng

Feng is is a Research Associate on the CRITICAL project. Her research is concerned with understanding how perception, action and cognition are laced together. Her PhD work, completed in the school of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science at the QMUL, falls into two areas: multisensory embodiment and human-computer interaction, and unified by a focus on gestural input activities and, in particular, on the integration process between tactile, auditory and visual perception, and how this process enhances or inhibits gesture inputs across different spatio-temporal interactive scales. The ultimate goal of her research is to provide an experiential uniformity between our physical embodiment and ever-evolving digital augmentation.

Taimur Ahmed

TaimurTaimur was a PhD candidate on the CRITICAL project.  The scope of his research is interactive cross modal tools for inclusive learning, which involves developing and evaluating technology enhanced learning tools to create an inclusive learning environment for children with visual impairments. His background was in finance and has worked in management consulting and advisory, before pursuing a Masters in Computer Science at the University of Bristol.

Sandra Bardot (Visiting Researcher)

Sandra is currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at the HCI Lab in the University of Manitoba. She did her Ph.D. at the University of Toulouse at the Elipse team – IRIT Lab (France)  on the design and evaluation of interaction techniques that assist visually impaired people to explore virtual maps using smartwatches. Her research visit to work as part of the CRITICAL team focused on the design and development of robot-based games for including learning.


  • Dr Alison Oldfield, School of Education, University of Bristol
  • Dr Antonis Vafeas, University of Bristol
  • Dr Emeline Brule, University of Sussex
  • Dr Marcos Serrano, University of Toulouse
  • Dr Christophe Jouffrais, University of Toulouse

Partners & Collaborators

  • Sensory Support Services, Bristol, UK
  • Emersons Green Primary School, Bristol
  • Fairfield High School, Bristol
  • SEN Support Services, Oxford, UK
  • Spires Academy, Oxford
  • Reading Borough Council Visual Impairment Team, Reading, UK
  • Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB), Birmingham, UK
  • Dr. Michael Proulx, Crossmodal Cognition Lab, University of Bath, UK
  • Dr. Bruce Walker, Sonification Lab, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA

Collaboration & Research Opportunities

Individuals & Organisations

We are interested in hearing from individuals, organisations and schools involved in supporting visually-impaired learners. We would like to engage with such groups and individuals to understand current challenges faced by teachers, visually-impaired students and parents in ensuring adequate access to learning material and group learning activities with sighted peers. We would also like to invite interested parties to participate in the design and evaluations of educational tools that could address such challenges. Please contact Dr Oussama Metatla for more details.