Events

Coming Events

Next Tech For Disability Inclusive Conversation – 14 June 2022 (part of London Tech Week)

Note the change of the usual date cycle. This will be a special version of our event as part of the fringe sessions in London Tech Week 2022, as Tech London Advocates is a sponsor.

We will partner with Policy Connect and their ATech Policy Lab for this special session.

It will be a panel discussion on digital inclusion across all disabilities, bringing together disabled organisations, officials from government, organisations like Good Things Foundation, Digital Poverty Alliance and other stakeholders, to continue the conversation about digital inclusion.

Policy Connect brings together the corporate and charitable trust sectors to crowdsource funding and fill the gap in funding for programmes like the Digital Lifeline Fund.
We will add more info soon and note that attendees will come from London Tech Week and Policy Connect, so the audience and the format will differ from our own. However, it should be a very interesting and relevant discussion, and you will be free to share comments through the Zoom tools.

Please note this event will use a different Zoom link and be recorded with real-time captions, so turn off your camera and be aware of this should you not wish to be recorded. Do email any accessibility requirements before the event to info@techfordisability.org.uk. See you there!

Book via Eventbrite here:

If you want to book the London Tech Week itself, that will be here – https://londontechweek.com/

About Tech For Disability

Tech London Advocates (TLA) Tech For Disability is back for a new series of Inclusive Conversations. We aim to connect the disabled and tech communities to facilitate the exchange and sharing of information to promote knowledge, awareness, and opportunities so technology can benefit everyone.

In previous sessions, we’ve seen early demos of VR worlds and banking management for vulnerable people. We hosted a panel discussion on tech for neurodiversity at London Tech Week that expanded our global audience. There were spontaneous discussions of how retail could understand more of deaf needs, repurposing disabled schemes from one industry to the tech industry, and how public APIs could recognise a schema of accessibility needs shared as an individual profile.

See our past events below:

We want to be at the hub of content flowing through this network. One way to do so is through our meetings, so please attend to add to the conversation and ideas. Another way is to contribute relevant news and information to us so we can distribute it through our platform.

We’ll plan to have at least one speaker as a conversation starter. They might be a disability consultant, advocate, researcher, startup entrepreneur or tech business employee.

Please note that this group is backed by Tech London Advocates, a network to promote London as a global capital of technology. TLA is part of Global Tech Advocates, so all are welcome. If you aren’t already a member of Tech London Advocates, you can join by booking attendance, and TLA will follow up to welcome you should you agree.

Sign up for the series of Inclusive Conversations via the Eventbrite link below:

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/inclusive-conversations-2022-tickets-280480724397?utm-campaign=social&utm-content=attendeeshare&utm-medium=discovery&utm-term=listing&utm-source=cp&aff=escb

Past Events

Tech For Disability Inclusive Conversation – 5 April 2022

There are many digital solutions for specific conditions or areas of disability that cover specific scenarios like job interviews.

But wel-co.me is overarching enough in its equity, empowerment, and choice principles. It is a pan-disability tool in breadth and works in virtually any public space or venue in its reach. It uses privacy-centred tools to present a person’s needs to a venue before they arrive while educating customer service staff at the same time and building a valuable dataset for better knowledge of accessibility.

Meet Gavin Neate from wel-co.me.

We talked about resuming our Inclusive Conversations and how this is a resumption after a while off the back of TLA’s D&Iversity event last week in which we had a nice presence in the report with a feature on Marie-Clare’s submission and Marc Goblot onstage speaking at the event. We had a lot of new people and welcomed them and explained about our group as a part of Tech London Advocates and that we aim to foster an exchange of information from contributions and events that we can share through our platform.

Russ Shaw was on the call and he came on to talk about TLA and Global Tech Advocates and how it has reached way beyond London. He mentioned the work they’re doing to support Ukraine as there is a chapter there.

We introduced Gavin Neate and his startup Welco-me. He talked about his beginnings as a guide dog trainer then seeing a gap when waiting to cross the road and wondering if an app could help control the crosswalk lights instead of pushing a button. That was the first app to control such a crosswalk and led to another to open a disability door with an app instead of a button and that also became a first with simple ideas.

Along the way, he pondered a way to share a profile of needs in advance to a public space to help book support and that became Welco-me with around 146 venues in the UK now registered especially leisure centres. It was hard graft, there are no shortcuts and no big money involved as you see in other startups. 

Tech For Neurodiversity – London Tech Week July 2021

In this event from The TLA Tech For Disability working group, we aimed to explore how tech can be used to actively benefit the neurodiversity community, providing a boost to both innovation and inclusion. We balance this with a consideration of how the adoption of technologies, such as machine learning, can amplify biases in favour of neurotypical people and what we can do to not leave people behind.

Presentation from: Ashley Peacock, CEO Passio
Panel Chair: Yonah Welker, Explorer, Board Member Yonah.ai/ .org
Panel members: Inas Ismail, Co-Founder Autsera, Leena Haque, Neurodiversity Initiative Lead, UX designer BBC

The panel discussed the challenges and solutions posed by technology for neurodiverse people – for example, biometrics, algorithmic decision making, recruitment, life management, therapy and more. In addition, they will share real-life examples, experiences and ideas on some of the problems tech can solve.

The session closed with an open call for panellists and attendees to address in a Q&A – “How can the tech ecosystem support startups to address these challenges?” 

This event was for anyone interested in learning more about the issues and opportunities surrounding neurodiversity in tech from those with lived experience and from the tech community. The World Health Organization noted that the prevalence of neurological conditions is one of the greatest threats to public health. So we invite anyone to join to help an understanding of what is needed to plan for how they can support, include, cater and design for neurodiversity within your sphere and role. 

A video recording of the session is available at YouTube here:

A few links that were shared in the meeting chat:

Ashley Peacocks’ company:

https://passio.co.uk

https://www.linkedin.com/company/wearepassio/

Lucy Wills

https://www.academia.edu/48949314/Cognitive_Accessibility_for_digital_health

Alvar Lagerlöf

https://neurodiversity.wiki

Brilliant Minds Open Talent (https://brilliantminds.org.uk/) is a not-for-profit social enterprise startup trying to use tech/AI to bring new services to help ND people find rewarding employment.

the VR experience I mentioned is available on YouTube. Here is the link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLyGuVTH8sA

WelcoMe is the only solution for front-line staff training and support of disabled customers

http://www.wel-co.me/

Leena Haque and the BBC’s Creating a Positive Environment (CAPE):

https://www.bbc.co.uk/neurodiversity/toolkits

https://bbc.github.io/uxd-cognitive/

Inclusion and Diversity Reflections 2020 – 14 January 2021

We reflected on 2020 and discuss views for a more inclusive and accessible 2021 on Thu, 14 Jan 2021 17:30 

About this Event

2020 may not have been the year that we expected, but every year comes with strengths and lessons to be taken into a new year. During this event we will be speaking about the key lessons and viewpoints taken from 2020. We will discuss the key lessons along with what is needed for a more inclusive and accessible 2021.

Who is this event for?

  • Tech startups developing products to benefit disability
  • Other tech startups who want to make their products accessible to all
  • Investors in disability technology
  • Disability advocates and the community who want to explore the value of technology
  • All interested in how technology can specifically benefit the disabled

Panel of Speakers

Yonah Welker: Yonah has worked on the intersection of tech and society since 2005, when he launched a hardware think tank. Yonah has founded and co-created tech startups and labs, helped to facilitate tech ecosystems through North America to APAC, MENA, Africa, Europe, screened over 2000 teams, contributed projects in ethics (data, AI, tech), deeptech (ex. Conception X), impact and sustainability (European Commission).

Lucy Wills: Lucy supports the Lived Experience Alliance to uncover, communicate and highlight the barriers and challenges that many disabled people experience in accessing healthcare, especially digital services. She works directly with DHSC to ensure that all COVID-19 related services are as accessible as possible. 

Alan Lock: Alan joined the Royal Navy as a Marine Engineering Officer (Submarines) in 2002, having been sponsored by the military through his 6th Form and university studies. In 2004, he lost much of his sight due to a rare genetic condition leaving him registered blind. He was medically discharged from the Navy in 2005. Since then, Alan has been supported by Blind Veterans UK, which assisted him with his rehabilitation. Alan went on to develop a new career in banking and telecommunications which eventually helped him start his own business. 

How do we galvanise the tech industry to include disability?

We heard how accessibility and disability tech start-ups are improving the lives of disabled people and helping drive economic growth on 7th September, 5-6pm online.

About this Event

Use of technology is an increasing part of everyone’s lives, but can leave people behind. More awareness is needed on how technology can improve lives of people with disabilities.

Tech for Disability showcases the value of accessibility and disability tech start-ups in improving the lives of disabled people and advocates for the tech industry to consider and embed universal accessibility in all their products.

We do this by connecting the technology and disability communities at the intersection of:

  • user needs
  • technology innovation
  • the necessity for accessible tech

We also want to ensure all tech start-ups include accessibility.

Who is this event for?

  • Tech startups developing products to benefit disability
  • Other tech startups who want to make their products accessible to all
  • Investors in disability technology
  • Disability advocates and the community who want to explore the value of technology
  • All interested in how technology can specifically benefit the disabled

Speakers Include:

  • Martyn Sibley, Co-founder and CEO, the Purple Goat Agency and Disability Horizons

www.purplegoatagency.com

Introduction to the world of disability; the value accessibility and disability tech start-ups bring to the disabled and the economy

  • Elizabeth Takyi, Founder and CEO, Aspire2Inspire Dyslexia CIC

How technology has helped Elizabeth shape her world and the challenges she believes need to be addressed by technology for disability

www.a2idyslexia.org.uk

  • Matthew Johnston, Technical Delivery Consultant – Thoughtworks

www.thoughtworks.com

The importance of including accessibility in tech product design from the start and the Future of tech for disabilities