Do you think about Inclusion in your work?

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Back in November, I attended my first accessibility Hackathon and, it is only having had some head space over Christmas, I can say that making my way to Google that Friday evening for a weekend of thinking creatively is one of the most important decisions I made in 2017.

Participants at the Hackathon brought with them unique experience, many with an interest in product design, computer programming and user centred design. All of us coming together to share are experience and create new ideas for tackling the issues which exclude people with disabilities from our city. Teams of four or five were given the weekend to tackle a particular accessibility issue and come up with creative real life innovative solutions.

It was striking to me, how many of those without direct experience of disability bought into the weekend, learned about our challenges and really thought creatively and carefully to try and solve the issues. Teams were supported throughout the weekend gaining advice and direction from mentors in companies including Accenture, Google and Rehab Group to name a few. Having companies there to experience the weekend and to think about Inclusion in a creative way was particularly important. It brought disability issues and experiences into the mainstream and highlights the need for everyone to think about inclusion in the work that we do. 

On a personal note, I found the whole experience refreshing and reenergising. Having spent the last number of years working in, and living with disability. The #HackAccessDublin weekend served as a reminder that it is a big world, with growing potential and disability need no longer mean we are on the fringes. In 2018, I will continue to work with those I met at #HackAccessDublin to further our plans on the #AbleAccess platform. A sincere thankyou to all who I met on that weekend.

For more information visit #HackAccessDublin Website

By Gerrard Gallagher, Hack Access Dublin participant

Janice Valentine