Affordable solutions for persons with disabilities in rural areas
The Red Cross started a 2-month long programme that will run until January 2016, named Makeathon, to develop affordable hardware and software for persons with disabilities. It is centred around 9 challenges:
- Performing activities of daily living
- Mobility around the home
- Mobility within and around the community
- Accessing education and training
- Employability and self employment
- Remote access to physical rehabilitation services
- Remote follow-up and users-to-service provider interactions
- Data collection to improve the quality of services
- Adaptation and use of new technologies
ICTs can be of help or at the source of the solution for many of these! For instance, apps and assistive devices can improve mobility around the home and throughout the community, facilitate education and training of persons with disabilities, increase career opportunities.
The program is open online to people all around the world and has an on-site event based in Bengaluru, India. Engineers, designers, scientists, persons with disabilities, humanitarians, manufacturers, investors, entrepreneurs and the innovation community are working together to build their innovative products’ prototypes.
The Red Cross also instructed all participants with guidelines and pre-requisites in this Design Guide. The innovations put forward at the end of the two months will need to be disability centred, use materials sourced locally, of easy maintenance, flexible enough to allow for adaptation by the users and affordable.
We cannot wait to see the results of this wonderful initiative!