Social Innovation & Disability Access Research
USING TECHNOLOGY TO TACKLE DISABILITY ACCESS
Technology, innovation and local social leadership present complementary solutions to the major global challenges of our time. In the post-conflict period that Colombia faces today, these tools are key to enhancing economic development, human dignity and sustainable peace.
Leveraging the expertise of our local leaders and partners, we’ve launched a research project to promote social, technical and scientific solutions for the manufacturing of assistive devices via sustainable 3D printing processes for people with disabilities in Colombia.
The project is part of a strategic engagement between the Omnis Institute, UNIANDES, EPFL-LPAC, EPFL-CODEV Seed Money Program and our local social leader in Colombia, Felipe Betancur. A participant in our Local Leaders in Action programme, Felipe is an inventor, advocate for disability rights and the co-founder of Todos Podemos Ayudar, an organization committed to improving access, inclusivity and quality of life for disabled people throughout Colombia.
Working with scientists, engineers and local leaders, the project will develop an innovative and tailor-made process that involves recycling plastic waste to manufacture assistive devices using low-cost 3D printing and local implementation to support people with disabilities.
OUR GOAL IS TO STRENGTHEN THE IMPACT AND WORK OF FELIPE BY HELPING PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES AND EQUIPPING THEM WITH THE TOOLS THEY NEED TO BECOME ACTIVE AND VOCAL MEMBERS OF SOCIETY.
Working closely with Felipe, we’ll be able to benefit the communities of Medellin and the wider Department of Antioquia, where a large proportion of the population live with disabilities sustained from the war. By creating low-cost tools to enhance the access of people with disabilities, we can help to improve their quality of life.
Through this initiative, Omnis, UNIANDES and EPFL, alongside Felipe and his amazing work with Fundación Todos Podemos Ayudar, will generate significant impact in terms of access to technology, sustainable development and local community inclusion.