On September 27th Trailblazers attended the Global Disability Innovation Hub event “Hacking Disability – How do you change a lightbulb if you use a wheelchair?” Loughborough University London hosts a series of “Hacks” where their students come up with innovative solutions to problems. Their partnership with a GDIH and the focus on inclusive design sparked this event to solve a problem faced by disabled people.
Employability Officer Emma Vogelmann attended the event and answered the students’ questions about life as a wheelchair user and the limitations disabled people encounter. This allowed them to understand the needs and wants of the market they were creating for.
Emma Vogelmann said:
The students asked great questions and really tried to understand what the ability to change a lightbulb by yourself would mean to your feeling of independence. They were all really enthusiastic and considerate of this being a topic they didn’t know much about at the start. What was really interesting was that each group asked very similar questions but no two products were the same.
Quentin Patrouillard a student at Loughborough University London who was part of the winning team said:
Being part of the Loughborough University London hackathon with MDUK really helped to open my eyes about how entrepreneurship can be used to solve all sorts of issues. Working with a real client who experienced the problem was just brilliant- I also got to meet loads of like-minded students. I would thoroughly recommend being part of an Loughborough University London hackathon in the future.
Ben Cole Stakeholder Development Manager for Loughborough University London said:
Working with organisations such as MDUK and the GDI Hub brings learning to life for our students. It makes our activities real, relevant and impactful. These experiences help us to build a community of curious minds determined to solve the world’s problems. If you would like to propose a subject for a future hack please get in touch.
To find out more about the Global Disability Innovation Hub click here.
Trailblazers has now moved to pan-disability charity Whizz-Kidz (September 2020).