Assistive Technology

by UNDP, MCIT, TE .

   Cairo, Egypt

Project By

UNDP, MCIT, TE

Egypt

View Details

Are you a young aspiring entrepreneur and innovator between the ages of 19-35? Are you using Assistive Technology to solve challenges for persons with disabilities? You have come to the right place!

The Challenge:

In the past decade, the technological advancement and internet accessibility have allowed for the concept of connecting everyday objects to the internet to become a useful reality. We believe it is time for us to start taking actions to integrate Assistive Technology in general, i.e. any device, application, equipment, product or service, and Internet of Things (IoT) as means of supporting persons with disabilities, be it hearing, visual or mobility impairement. Hence, innovative solutions to tackle this issue is much needed for millions of Egyptians to be recognized in the public realm and empowered to live better lives. 

This challenges looks for innovations that use Assistive Technology to solve problems and improve the quality of life of people with disabilities in one of the following themes:

  • Accessibility: Public spaces and transportation.

  • Education: Educational tools for people with disabilities.

  • Employment: Skills development and access to employment.

  • Health and early intervention: Basic health care services and early intervention to prevent disabilities.

UNDP Egypt in partnership with the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Telecom Egypt, Microsoft Egypt and Yomken.com are launching this Open Innovation Challenge as part of the Youth Leadership Programme (YLP) initiated by UNDP Arab States, which aims to support young change makers to create innovative, impactful and sustainable solutions.

Who Can Apply?

  • You must apply as a team with at least 3 members.

  • Applicants must be between ages 19-35.

  • Teams with female members are highly encouraged to apply.

Conditions:

  • A matured prototype (a well-tested prototype is not required but highly recommended)

  • Clear use of Assistive Technology, the Internet of Things is a plus

  • The solution directly targets the PWDs population under the following sub-themes:

    • Accessibility of public spaces and transportation

    • Education

    • Employment

    • Health and early intervention

  • The solution is in Arabic or has an Arabic version

Selection Criteria:

  • Impact; including accessibility, affordability, and long-term sustainability of the solution

  • Innovation level

  • Clearly defined target users and customers

  • Commercialization potential

  • Team diversity and skills

Competition Timeline:

ABOUT ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY

Assistive technology is any device, application, equipment, product or service that supports and improves the capabilities of a persons with disabilities in his or her day - day activities.

ABOUT THE INTERNET OF THINGS

In the past decade, the technological advancement and internet accessibility has allowed for the concept of connecting everyday objects to the internet to become a useful reality. In action, the internet of things requires sensing mechanisms, which may come from various sources and forms, such as scanning barcodes, sensing movements and temperature, or recognizing facial expressions. On the other hand, it requires a platform for humans or other objects to engage with or respond to the data that is fed into the system. As such, it creates an automated communication system that can be between human-object, object-object, or object-human.

The use of this concept as a tool to improve human lives is currently a novel field of innovation with endless opportunities. As internet accessibility becomes available throughout many countries around the world, we believe it is time for us to start taking actions to integrate internet of things as means of supporting persons with disabilities.

ABOUT PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES   

According to the WHO statistics, people with disabilities make up to 11% of the total Egyptian population. Although there are public services and programs for People With Disabilities (PWDs) in Egypt, social stigmas are apparent in the society, and persons with disabilities are among the most vulnerable and marginalized groups.

One of the major challenges that people with all types of disabilities (including hearing, visual and mobility impaired) face is their inaccessibility to public spaces and transportation. Coupling inaccessibility to public buildings such as schools and universities with their needs for special learning methods, children with disabilities also face challenges with their education, which prevents them from improving their academic stands and reaching their full potentials. As mobility and skill development have been the key challenges for PWDs people, employment also becomes another domino effect from this problem. On the other hand, the issue of inaccessibility also plays a large role when it comes to basic health care services. Moreover, in some cases disability is sadly resulted from the lack of or the ineffectiveness of early interventions. Hence, innovative solutions to tackle this issue is much needed for millions of Egyptians to be recognized in the public realm and empowered to live better lives.

ABOUT UNDP ARAB STATES YOUTH LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME

YLP is a UNDP Arab States regional initiative that aims to support and empower young women and men change-makers to design and implement innovative, impactful and sustainable development solutions, whether these be social enterprises, nonprofits, NGOs, initiatives, or campaigns.  The programme aims at driving innovation at the country level and connecting innovators at the regional and global level.



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