A diagram of the We Drive idea
A diagram of the We Drive idea

Day three of the Launchpad Accelerator was field trip day. After finding our feet in our new home at Hub Westminster and allowing ourselves a day or two to get our heads in accelerator mode, the founders decamped to Scope HQ for the Disability Innovation Camp.

Joined by a number of disabled guests, experts in the field, plus a few Launchpad Scholars we set out to find solutions to: ‘How might disabled people have more control over their money, resources and support?’

Following a number of enlightening talks that highlighted the financial issues that disabled people face, so many could be avoided/minimised if the working world followed the social model of disability as apposed to the more commonly used medical model that suggests that it is the disable person that has the problem as opposed to society being poorly designed that doesn’t provide access and opportunity for all.

Eight teams were asked to consider some of the daily obstacles that so many disabled people face and see if they could design solutions to make daily life a more inclusive experience for all. Ideas ranged from a task sharing website (Task Squirrel) to a teched up, uber-accessorized crutch of the future (Future Crutch). Haccessiblity – a ‘how-to-hack’ website that offered commonly available products hacked to better suit more specific needs (such as an Ikea chair that could be hacked-taller, hacked-smaller or hacked with handles). Haccesssibility took first prise alongside ‘We Drive’ – a service looking to provide better personal transport for those with access needs.

A snapshot of the components of the We Drive app
A snapshot of the components of the We Drive app

It will be interesting to see how these two winning ideas can be developed and tested in the next few weeks. The two teams Haccesssibility and We Drive (with Tilley and Alex on board) will be offered a couple of hours with FutureGov to work out the feasibility of the product ideas. Aside from the innovative ideas thought up by each team at the Disability Camp, it was clear that the most valuable thing that the founders took away will take away from the day’s session is inaccessible our society is for so many, with a little more thought and a lot more consultation with the people that work so hard every day to over come these exclusions we could allow such a large proportion of our society/communities to fully participate. If services/products/environments are designed to be available for those with the most challenging of access needs in mind, they will be able to be accessed by all. This is certainly something to take in to consideration as we turn towards our own idea and product development.