In our Meetup on Tuesday 31 July, we are going to take a deep dive into the ICT4D aspects of people living with disabilities, dovetailing with the Summit's exploration of Technology and Innovation in this space.
Disability tech (including assistive technology) is a topic for which much remains to be done if we are truly to help empower underserved populations with information and communication technologies. According to the UK government:
"Only one in ten people in the world today who needs assistive products and services to maintain or improve their lives or promote their independence has access to them. These products include traditional aids such as wheelchairs, hearing aids and walking sticks, and increasingly digital solutions, such as apps to convert speech to text."
***UPDATED SPEAKER LINEUP***
SPEAKER 1: Eleanor Lisney
"Eleanor Lisney (http://ethoelisney.uk/) is a campaigner, founder member, public speaker and coordinator. She is an access advisor, an aspiring creative practitioner and co founder of both Sisters of Frida, a disabled women's collective and Culture Access, which is about supporting access, bringing an inclusive edge intersectionally. She was involved in Museums and the Web (ICHIM in Europe) and was the previous publicity chair for EVA London Conference, (Electronic Visualiation and the Arts)
She was born in Malaysia and has lived in Strasbourg, France and studied at Austin, Texas. She has written on museum accessibility and is passionate about embedding intersectionality in all her work. She has two grown up children. Eleanor will be speaking on the importance of language in accessibility considerations for instance for people for whom English is not their first language, for people with learning difficulties, dyslexic or autistic people."
SPEAKER 2: Alice Gathoni
Alice Njeri Gathoni comes from Kenya and is currently a PhD candidate at the Open University in Milton Keynes. Her PhD explores ‘The Lived experiences of social media use by youth with disabilities in higher education in Kenya’. Alice has worked extensively with young people with disabilities and their families as an; educator, special needs educational coordinator, placement provider and as a volunteer in various capacities. Her research interests are centred on education, youth, disability and ICT4D.
Alice will discuss preliminary findings of her current PhD. It will highlight participants’ social media activities in higher education in relation to their choice of social media, what they value about social media and the people/ networks they engage with. It will in turn consider how these youths' social media activities influence their capabilities. Implications for policy and practice will also be discussed.
SPEAKER 3: Umesh (uMe) Pandya
Umesh (uMe) Pandya is driven by using design and technology to solve problems that matter, he has been working as a practitioner in the digital sector for over 18 years, conceiving and launching inclusive, human centred, digital products, services and ventures. Co-founder of Wayfindr, an award-winning, social tech, not-for-profit that empowers vision impaired people to navigate the world independently. Umesh also has led the product design and development of a couple of well-received FinTech products that have improved the banking experience for older people and people with physical and/or cognitive impairments.
Umesh will share the story behind Wayfindr and how they designed and validated the worlds first open standard for audio navigation to help blind and vision-impaired people to navigate the world independently. Umesh will talk about the tools and methodologies they used over the course of this investigation. From a co-created idea to an international standard in under two years.
We always say you won't want to miss the meetup, but we always mean it! This is a topic that rarely gets attention, so do come learn insights from those working directly in this area of ICT4D.