Eight Tech consults Ltd (www.8technologies.net) in partnership with the National Union of Disabled Persons of Uganda (NUDIPU) and Nkumba University with support from the Government of Uganda through the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) held the first Innovate for ability Hackathon which ran from 3rd to 7th October 2022 at Nkumba University.
This hackathon was meant to have several innovators creating disruptive technological solutions for disabled persons with the goal;
“To generate ICT Innovations that can ease the access, Usage, and awareness of ICTs among persons with disabilities.”
The event was graced by Several delegates and students from different institutions which included the host Nkumba University, Makerere University, Kyambogo University, Kampala International University and Africa Renewal University
The five day event was coupled with a number of activities that the participants engaged in to inform their understanding on the goal for the hackathon and the disability community at large and some of these included; The need to innovate for the Disability community; Problem statement and Business case; The art of innovations- Think big, start small and scale fast; Practical session on prototyping; The software development life cycle; quizzes and group work sessions for them to perfect their innovations.
Despite having a heavy grand prize for the winner, it was so empirical that the major focus was “Improving the lives of persons with disabilities and promoting the enjoyment of the digital space” and different groups brought out their best.
Among the beautiful innovations made include;
1. “The eyes”. A very brilliant technology targeting the visually impaired category which helps them to sense objects ahead of them, read count money and navigate through several paths (This emerged the overall winner of the Hackathon) taking a prize of 1.5million Ugx.
2. “The bangle” A health bangle for the mentally disabled and paralyzed people to locate them, monitor their health and provide locations (GPS embedded feature) (This emerged as the first runners-up) taking a prize of 1million Ugx.
Several other wonderful innovations were developed including systems, and websites, all aimed at helping persons with disabilities live a free and just life where there is the enjoyment of the digital space, and access and usage of digital services. These young innovators will be given a platform to improve their ideas and develop more innovations centred to the noble cause of ensuring persons with disabilities improve their lives through the use of digital technologies.
We also encourage further innovations regarding the cause to share their ideas with us to support the persons with disabilities.