The Legacy of Steven Valentine
Hack Access Dublin began as a seed of an idea, planted by the inspiration of Dublin’s startup community.
Founder and CEO, Janice Valentine, wanted to harness the collaborative, innovative and positive spirit of Dublin’s startup community, to solve the accessibility challenges she observed through the lens of her late brother Steven Valentine.
Steven had muscular dystrophy. He started using a wheelchair at the age of 11. This didn’t change how his family viewed and treated him and it didn’t alter his adventurous spirit and love of witty banter! But. It seemed to change how other people viewed him. His opportunities to fully engage in social and economic life (Steven wasn’t a big fan of culture - being more of a sport and technology nut!) narrowed.
Irrespective of this, Steven travelled the world with his Boccia team. He was competitive, fiery and independent. He was a maker and a fixer and loved computer games. Technology was an enabler for him.
When Steven finished school, Janice saw how narrow the scope of his work opportunities were. She saw how this reduced his typically positive and can-do spirit.
In their twenties, Janice & Steven would talk about setting up a business. She’d do the marketing and he’d look after technology. Entrepreneurship could empower them both to realise their goals of making an impact and being masters of their own destiny.
In 2010 Steven passed away at the age of 31. Before he had the opportunity to realise his goal. Hack Access is the business set up fulfil the goals he had for an accessible & inclusive world.