Australia’s first disability-focused tech accelerator launched

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Tuesday, 19 April 2016 16:08pm

Australia’s first disability-focused impact accelerator, Remarkable, held its official launch event on 31 March at the University of Sydney. The Remarkable Accelerator program aims to work with inclusive start-up companies by using technology in innovative ways to improve the lives of people with disabilities.

Remarkable logo

Remarkable, a division of the Cerebral Palsy Alliance and powered by the Telstra Foundation and Department of Family and Community Services, began its first accelerator on 6 April with initial participants receiving a $20,000 grant towards masterclass training, access to an extensive mentor network and user testing support. Over the course of 16 weeks, participants are working towards creating and releasing their innovative technology solutions for people living with a disability.

The initiative has shown potential to increase access to media through technology, with the first round of participants using 3D printing to innovate on assistive technologies, gaming to detect hearing impairments in children, and apps to locate accessible routes for people with a disability who use public transport.

Several industry leaders and accessibility experts were present to support the Remarkable launch event in late March, including Paul De Gelder (shark attack survivor), Dr Jordan Nguyen (biomedical engineer and developer of the mind controlled wheelchair), Dan Ilic (comedian and television Personality) and Hon. John Ajaka (NSW Minister for Ageing, Minister for Disability Services, and Minister for Multiculturalism).

Regarding the rapid advancement of technology and its importance for people with disabilities, Remarkable has stated:

“Now is the perfect time to see innovation in the disability sector - the advent of NDIS, access to cheaper technologies and a burgeoning impact investment scene.

“In the last 30 years, technology has transformed the lives of people with a disability, giving mobility to those who can’t walk and a voice to those who are unable to talk. Remarkable is here to facilitate more breakthrough technologies for people with a disability, to increase social and financial inclusion.”

For more information about the Remarkable launch event, check out the coverage piece from Angela Wilcox-Watson at the University of Sydney. More information about the initiative and accelerator program can be read via the Remarkable website.

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