Victoria’s tech community is gathering forces to take part in Australia’s first Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM) Makeathon to come up with practical solutions to the challenges faced by people living with disabilities.
The three-day event at Swinburne University’s Innovation Precinct allows people living with disabilities to engage with engineers, designers and developers to create prototypes that could be used to address the unique needs not currently being met by industry.
Some of the prototypes set to be developed include a lateral head rest support, a device enabling wheelchair access to stairs and sidewalk curbs, a modified controller to be used with one hand and crutches that can turn into a seat.
The idea behind Tikkun Olam – a Hebrew phrase which translates to ‘acts of kindness that repair the world’ – is to eliminate the one-size fits all approach in the research and development of commercially available solutions for people living with unique disabilities.
The skills include robotics, electronics, 3-D printing, metal work and wood work.
The TOM Makeathon is one of nine that have been held across seven cities globally including Washington DC, Buenos Aires and Calgary.
So far, there have been 1193 makers, 540 challenges and 112 projects involved in the initiative.
Victorian Minister for Small Business, Innovation and Trade Philip Dalidakis said it’s a great example of how the tech industry can come together to find solutions, to make a difference for people living with disabilities.
“Holding the first Australian TOM Makeathon here in Victoria is a huge vote of confidence in our talented workforce and reinforces our reputation as Australia’s tech and innovation capital,” Dalidakis said.
For more information: http://tomglobal.org/makeathons/2016/11/20/tomaustralia-2016