There are over 12.2 million people with a limiting long term illness or impairments in Great Britain. The prevalence of disability rises with age. Many disabled people rely on assisted living technologies to support them in their everyday lives.
But there is a strong view that the development and manufacture of aids, adaptations and products has not kept pace with the use of new technologies, materials and design and manufacturing processes seen in other areas (sport-related products for disabled people being the notable exception).
We ran the Inclusive Technology Prize to inspire technological innovation from individuals and small businesses to improve or develop assistive living aids, adaptations, products and systems that would make a real difference to the lives of disabled people.
The objectives of the Inclusive Technology Prize were to:
- generate public and media interest in, and excitement about, accessible technologies and their ability to make life easier and more inclusive
- facilitate the co-creation of new products, services and systems that meet needs as defined by users themselves
- champion a spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation by supporting disabled people and amateur designer/makers to become assistive technology developers and entrepreneurs
- forge new partnerships between technology users, developers, manufacturers, buyers and providers
- build a dynamic and vibrant market for accessible, functional, flexible and desirable assistive technologies
The inaugural Inclusive Technology Prize was awarded to AzuleJoe, a tool that will help give people with communication difficulties a voice, highlighting how innovative technologies can make a real difference to the lives of disabled people.
Read more about the finalists and the lessons learned from this project.