Australia accelerator helps disabled people with assistive tech

Global Business

Australia accelerator helps disabled people with assistive tech

Gadgets have transformed our lives- but many people, especially the disabled still struggle to bridge the gap and fully use these devices or services.

And that’s the challenge for an Australian firm determined to empower people with disabilities.

CCTV’s Greg Navarro reports.

At 19-years of age, Marusha Pride has learned to live with Cerebral Palsy. But what the bright, ambitious teenager couldn’t work with was the technology available to help her use a computer and control her wheelchair. But technology stopped being an obstacle when Marusha met the founders of a company called Ability Mate.

“We sat down with her and within an hour we had designed a joy stick controller that perfectly fitted her finger,” Johan Du Plessis, co-founder of Ability Mate said.

A simple piece of plastic made from a 3D printer costing just 28 cents. That’s the kind of outcome Peter Horsley is hoping to repeat. He’s drawn on his background in the disability sector to create the Remarkable Accelerator.

It’s a 16 weeks project designed to give a handful of startups the funding and tools they need to create solutions for people with disabilities. From tailored 3D printing to apps that help people navigate public transportation.

And that’s important when you consider that about 1 billion people live with a disability.

One of the biggest obstacles with adaptive technology is the cost. For example, the starting price for an electric wheelchair in this country is roughly the same as the newest version of this car.

Before the simple piece of plastic, it would have cost more than $1000 to modify Marusha’s equipment and it wasn’t tailored to her specific needs. But Marusha and her mother said what really helped make the difference and was that someone was willing to listen.

Low-cost, high-quality eye care for low income patients in Mexico

Sala Uno is a Mexican eye care company with a business model that aims to help society and still make a profit.

The inspiration for this company is the idea of providing low-cost, high-quality health care for lower income patients, who make up 70 percent of the market in Mexico.

CCTV America’s Fran Contreras reports.

Javier Okhuysen talks about the inspiration behind creation of Sala Uno

For more on the Sala Uno, CCTV America’s Franc Contreras interviewed with Javier Okhuysen, one of the co-founders and co-CEOs of salaUno to find out why he left a career in finance to follow his passion.