Approximately 1 billion people live with a disability.
Assistive Labs is rethinking how we design technology for people living with disabilities in global communities. Education and health services in developing countries need support in creating affordable and sustainable technology for those with communication, cognitive and learning disabilities. These groups are often overlooked, restricting availability of important services. Existing hardware solutions focus mainly on mobility (wheelchairs and prosthetics), or vision and hearing issues. We are designing and distributing adaptable, cognitively focused products to underrepresented communities who need it most.
We partner with communities and local nonprofits to ideate and co-design devices for people living with disabilities in low-to-middle income countries.
Technology for all
By creating low-cost, open-source devices, we hope to establish a platform to empower those who need it most.
From 'Makers' to assistive technology networks, we believe in the transformative power of intersecting expertise for the greater good.
Assistive technologies are crucial mediators for realizing people's rights
and promoting access and empowerment.
Organizations and institutions working directly in low-income and rural communities have difficulty in assisting many of their clients. Lack of or inadequate assistive devices in health, communication, education and mobility restrict participation, particularly amongst persons with moderate to severe disabilities. Many times, parents stop bringing their children to school due to lack of appropriate tools and learning materials; less than 1% of children living with disabilities in developing countries attend school. This is not to say they are unable to, but rather schools are not equipped with training and technology for children with special needs.
Current assistive devices and inclusive technologies are designed for first world applications, and not suited for their communities. The use of assistive devices not only makes persons living with disabilities more independent and improves their quality of life, but frees up the time of their caretakers to pursue other productive activities and income generating opportunities.