The 1stInnovate for Disability Hackathon will bring together innovators from around the country to solve challenges faced by disabled persons in low-resource settings. The innovations are intended to be assistive technologies that create a better sustainable lifestyle for Persons with Disabilities through boosting the access and optimal usage of resources without being limited by disability. This year’s Hackathon to be held at Nkumba University and Makerere University will focus on ICT innovations to boost access and optimal use of available resources in through Innovation.
This hackathon is meant to have several innovators creating disruptive technological solutions for disabled persons. Due to the existing digital divide among persons with Disabilities in Uganda, UCC in collaboration with 8tech and NUDIPU is implementing a project for enhancing knowledge management, ICT Adaption, Digital skills and access to E-services for people with disabilities in Uganda. This hackathon is therefore meant to register ICT innovations in a bid to close the digital divide. Innovators are called upon to participate in this exciting 5-day event, where teams will work to generate and transform ideas into prototypes that have the potential to transform lives of Persons with Disabilities across Uganda and the world at large.
Goal: To generate ICT Innovations that can ease the access, Usage, and awareness of ICTs among persons with disabilities.
Some of the Challenges faced by people with disabilities
Mobility and accommodation
Stigmatization & negative attitude
Lack of education
High Poverty Levels
Low access to government e-services
Key Thematic areas of innovation
Agriculture among others
Participants should be students and recent graduates. Participation can be individual or in teams not exceeding three members. A member can only belong to one team only.
Duration: This hackathon is set to take a period of 5 days starting from 3rd October 2022 to 7th October 2022 in Nkumba University after which teams will converge to present their prototypes to a team of judges who will make decisions based on the following criteria;
Compliance with eligibility
How does the solution solve a problem relating to persons with disabilities
Level of Creativity
Viability of the solution
Strength and ability to implement the product
1st Prize (Overall Winner): 1.5 million Ugx
2nd Prize (1st Runners up): 1 million Ugx
3rd Prize (2nd Runners up): 500,000 Ugx
Interested parties should express their interest by filling this form latest 31st September, 2022
Eight Tech Consults Limited teamed up with the National Union of Disabled Persons Of Uganda (NUDIPU) and Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) at The Continuing Agricultural Education Center (CAEC) Kabanyolo for a 3-day design thinking workshop to further understand and appreciate the UCC/UCUSAF grant aimed at promoting digital inclusiveness for Persons with Disabilities through the use of ICT enabled technologies. We are cognizant of the plight of the Persons with disabilities, which is why we partake in innovations that aim at enhancing knowledge management, ICT Adaption, digital skills and access to E-Services for Persons with Disabilities.
Pursuant to sustaining a just and fair society where people with disabilities live a prosperous and dignified life, we are prompted to understand and agree that embracing digital technologies will enhance knowledge management and ICT adoption and must be one of the key priorities to pay utmost attention to if we are to be progressive. Issues discussed during the 3-day the design thinking workshop were typically aimed at providing important means of reducing barriers to ICT access for the disabled, The discussion was pivoted to the anchor objectives of this initiative which are;
To develop and operationalize a National digital observatory (database) for Persons With Disabilities
To mobilize and create awareness of ICT access and potential among various categories of Persons With Disabilities.
To establish baseline of Persons With Disabilities digital inclusiveness in e-services access, technology, content, and information needs for various categories of Persons With Disabilities across the country
These objectives are envisaged to clearly highlight on the gaps and proposed solutions to the usage and access of digital technologies among Persons With Disabilities, Come up with an operational National PWD Digital Observatory System which will profile PWDs inform of a National digital register housed to be by NUDIPU, peer collaboration and peer learning, PWD initiatives, PWD member organization database/register, data visualization engine, online counselling for PWDs and caregivers. The Innovation is also aimed at skilling several Persons with Disabilities in the use of ICT and related digital technologies. Digital inclusion is a dream we all must fight to see come true, But all have to realize it’s only possible if we are all part of it.
During the work-shop, a team comprising of key stakeholders who are Eight Tech, NUDIPU, UCC using a knowledge co-creation approach created a research design and developed the modules to be cased by the digital observatory. As Henry Ford stated “Coming together is a beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.” We need to come together and stay dedicated to promote digital inclusiveness for Persons with Disabilities through the use of ICT enabled technologies and enhancing knowledge management, ICT Adaption, digital skills and access to E-Services for Persons with Disabilities
On 7th August and 8th August, a team of two from 8tech consults limited headed to Kyarusozi sub-county Kyenjonjo district to train farmers and recruit people for the usage of the ICT4Agric innovation. The main goal of this training was to train smallholder farmers in kyarusozi sub-county kyenjonjo district with the intended outcome of skilling of small-holder farmers on ICT adaptation, service delivery, content, and digital skills.
In the training, Farmers were introduced to ICT4Agric innovations, the team encouraged and mobilized for formulation and establishment of a united farmer group/organization for easier resource mobilization. The trainers also introduced the UNFFE ICT4FARMERS system and mobile application and farmers were encouraged to use the innovations in their farming practices. Farmers were also encouraged to use the toll-free call center so as to always be possible to seek to advise regarding their farming practices.
Below are the key outputs of the training;
Farmers were mobilized and their contacts were registered.
Successful training on the usage of the farmer’s toll-free line.
Successful mobilization and sensitization for establishment of a united farmer’s union in the area.
Successful training on the farmers discovering the potential income generating value chains.
Successful training of digital inclusion in the areas small holder farmers in the sub county.
Successful training finding market using the ICT4Agric Innovations
There is need for establishment a united farmer’s union in the sub-county.
There is much willingness for the farmers to adapt the use of ICT4Agric innovation.
The farmers have potential to produce but are just challenged by limited markets.
PWDs are defined as people bearing long term physical, mental, intellectual or sensory impairments which in interaction with various barriers may hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others. Persons with disabilities are deserving of the same rights and basic needs as others although when faced with challenges it is quite harder on their side. PWDS usually face various forms of discrimination in society on a basis of disability and digital exclusion being one of them.
According to the World Health Organisation, about 15% of the global population live with some form of disabilities and the number keeps growing year after year. With this growing number of PWDS and the growing technological and digital standards in the world, PWDS need to be fully included in the new digital era which is currently not the case. Innovations need to be put in place that also fully include PWDS.
In order to fully include PWDS in the new digital era organisations and institutions need to;
a) Fully embrace disability inclusion at every level of the organisation
b) Understand how to reach and better serve persons with disabilities
c) Deliver inclusive products and services that meet the varied needs of Persons with Disabilities.
It is from this background that 8tech came to a partnership with the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda to work together towards enhancing digital inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Uganda.
The overall objective of the partnership is to promote digital inclusiveness for Persons with Disabilities through the use of ICT enabled Technologies.
Specific objectives were also defined as below;
To conduct evaluation studies and research to identify the needs of Persons with disabilities and how they can be addressed with the help
To develop content to aid digital skilling of Persons with Disabilities.
To facilitate Hackathons, seminars and innovation challenges to encourage development of solutions for PWDS.
To design an information management system (IMS) to address challenges of lack of information about people with disabilities across the country.
This partnership shall also involve the following key result areas;
Research and Knowledge Management
Digital Platforms for Persons with Disabilities
Innovations for PWDS
Content Development, Delivery and digital skilling
The main and first area of focus is Research and knowledge management and research is ongoing under the topic; Digital Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities.