Making new technology for all

Bhavna Malkani, ELIEZ Project Lead
 
The Park is always striving to be a more inclusive and accessible place to live, work and visit.
 
Just recently, a new generation of diverse entrepreneurs and innovators formed the East London Inclusive Enterprise Zone (ELIEZ) cohort during lockdown. Their achievements were celebrated yesterday at the ELIEZ virtual showcase hosted by Paralympic great, Baroness Tanni-Grey Thompson, and founder of SociAbility, Matt Pierri.
 
The cohort participated in an accelerator programme, providing business support for entrepreneurs who are disabled or whose work focuses on accessibility. It resulted in a range of innovative and exciting products and services for the disabled community.
 
The cohort includes creative thinkers such as Lapapo Special Needs, More Human, Give Vision, Mumbli and The Ability People, a disability inclusion consultancy and accessible freelance platform co-founded by Paralympian Liz Johnson. 
 
GiveVision, who have also taken part, are using augmented technology (AR) and virtual technology (VR) to improve the vision of people with severe sight loss. They’ve created a wearable device that uses AR and VR to allow wearers to go about their daily activities with greater independence.
 
The programme provided members with a unique opportunity of engaging activities to help accelerate and adapt their businesses around Covid-19. Members attended a series of virtual workshops, which were co-created with the ELIEZ partner network, as well as digital agency Bravand and ICAEW. The sessions also showcased inclusive ways of working, implementing best practice initiatives for online meetings, with captioning and British Sign Language provided throughout.
 
For members who wanted to attend the event in person, they were able to take part at Plexal – an innovation centre and coworking space based at Here East. During the programme, Plexal collaborated with a number of ELIEZ partners to identify areas of its own 79,920 sqft. space that can be optimised for accessibility. As a result, Plexal members can now utilise the several changes were made throughout the space, making it more accessible for people with a range of disabilities and encouraging more inclusive talent to the Park.
 
We are proud to have been able to provide a platform for these entrepreneurs who are striving to make everyday life more accessible for all and we look forward to see these new projects thrive.
 
You can read more about ELIEZ’s work here:
ELIEZ
How Here East has become the home for disability-led innovation
ELIEZ Celebrating disability led innovation (video)
Plexal: Optimising workspace for accessibility 
UCL helps GiveVision transform the lives of visually impaired people