WGPlus (Archive)

Can your design skills help others to help themselves?

The Government is calling for more innovation in gadgets for disabled people and is offering £50,000 in brand-new prize, in a £400,000 competition. 1 in 5 people in the UK have a disability and disabled people & their households have a spending power of over £200bn. Yet the development & manufacture of aids, adaptations and products for disabled people has not kept pace with the use of new technologies, like smartphones, GPS, plasma TVs, Kindles and the internet. 

The government’s Accessible Technology Prize aims to inspire technological innovation to assist disabled people in fields as diverse as education, the home, leisure, transport and work.  Ministers hope it will encourage more budding entrepreneurs to tap into a market predicted to be worth over £500m in Britain – and $3bn internationally.  Deadline for entries; 16 January 2015.

A second competition (open to all school children aged 14 to 18) is aimed at devising new ways to make bus travel easier for people who have visual or hearing impairments.  Passengers can find it difficult to identify the number or destination of their bus, know where and when to get off or hear important on-board announcements. The competition is being run by the government-funded organisation Transport Systems Catapult and was launched by the minister at a school in Milton Keynes, where pupils are taking part.

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