Spotlighting Inspiration: Global Disability Innovation Hub

By: Danielle Chazen



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As Verbit aims to provide technology that creates more opportunities for students and professionals navigating disabilities to succeed, we often encounter organizations with missions that inspire our work. We’d like to spotlight one organization, the Global Disability Innovation Hub, which is tackling an array of disability-focused challenges.

The GDI Hub consists of both an academic research center and a community interest mission-led organization with one vision in mind: building a movement to accelerate disability innovation for a fairer world.

The hub aims to provide a platform for collaboration between those living with disabilities, practitioners, academics and local communities. From research and teaching to opportunities for inclusive entrepreneurship to programs designed to shape community policies, the organization is taking on many objectives.

Many of the program’s initiatives are centered on physical disabilities and sensory impairments and the challenges they can present to students. They also work with The Snowden Trust to provide inspirational disabled students with a Snowden Masters Scholarship. Those selected join a network of disabled innovators to help inspire the next generation and tackle global challenges.

Overall, we are inspired by the organization’s commitment to inclusive design, assistive technology, and looking at arts, sports and culture from a disability lens. Often times, educators only look at the needs of students navigating disabilities from a classroom perspective. These educators can lose sight of all of the additional ways students learn and grow from other interactions on campuses, including attending sports games and participating in cultural events.

Additionally, the organization is responsible for driving technology and innovation projects forward from a disability perspective. The GDI Hub worked with key partners in Kenya to launch Africa’s First Innovation Ecosystem last year, which is dedicated to supporting start-ups that are developing new assistive technology products and services in the region.

The hub is also producing the Disability Innovation Summit, an event which coincides with the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo this August. The summit will explore how disability innovation is expanding on an international scale.

Businesses, governments and companies and now recognizing the power of disabled audiences and the impact of accessibility. Adopting this mentality is crucial, as it explores and encourages the design of all programs, including education and others, for inclusivity by utilizing evolving technologies often based on Artificial Technology in the process.

Essentially, the core mission of the GDI Hub aligns closely with the work Verbit is doing to make our transcription and captioning technology continuously smarter to account for various needs of the disabled community among others. We can only hope that with more innovation more universities and organizations can take on proactive roles in providing accessibility to all individuals who can benefit.