Hack Access grows its community in Dogpatch Labs.

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Last Thursday we launched our bi-monthly Community event in Dogpatch Labs. 

It was our first ever meetup and was held in the aptly historical building of Dogpatch Labs in their ‘vaults’. The turnout for our first Community event was exceptional and we are incredibly grateful to  everyone who attended.

The meetups help those who may not be able to attend a weekend hackaton become part of the hack access community. They are also designed to support potential participants get more out of the hackathon experience, by sharing knowledge and allowing them learn as much about us before they join one of our hackathon events.

We hope this becomes a global movement built around similar events in other cities around the world' 

Here's what happened on the night

Our founder Janice Valentine told the audience about her motivation for founding the movement, and how she wants it to be a legacy to her brother Stephen.  Her vision for HAD is: “To make Dublin inclusive to people of all abilities by hacking the access obstacles in their way”. She asked for people to join the movement and spread the word – and to make HAD a global movement

David Pollard who is our partner pwd organisation, Rehab Group's, innovation Pioneer and co-organiser of our hackathon event spoke about Rehabs vision, which is similar to HAD’s: to empower those with disabilities to lead more fulfilling lives. David has played a big role in assisting HAD and must be commended for his efforts

Some of Last year's participants shared their experience of participating in Hack Access Dublin including Jon Barrett and Derek O'Kelly.

Jon touched our hearts when he spoke about his motivation for being part of the hack access community. He told us of his anguish as he watched his blind grandfather struggle with daily challenges. His CPrk team was one of the awardees of the Smart Dublin Fund for Data. Jon’s journey continues, as his team develops their innovative solution for disability parking.

Derek O Kelly spoke of his journey and how the movement has brought purpose to his life and business. His journey continues as a HAD team member and as co-founder of Able Access, a startup which originated from the Hack Access hackathon in 2017. 

The HAD Community Is Inspirational

We’ve said it before - the HAD community is inspirational. We get to meet great people with amazing talent and expertise. People like - Alexsandra Jenkac and John Horrigan. Alexandra is a business consultant, project manager, startup advisor and QA engineer and is the newest recruit to the Hack Access Dublin team. 

John is a product and digital design expert. He is also founder & creative director at Studio24 (specialising in new product development and prototyping). We get great inspiration when people like Alexandra and John ask, “How can we help” 

But let's not forget those who have already played their part – without their support for the 2017 hackathon we may not have reached this milestone. 

Thanks to: Nissan Ireland, Rehab Group, AHEAD, Antonio Santos, Google, Kieran Hanrahan & National Learning Network, Gavin Neate & Neatebox, Girls In Tech, Smart Dublin, Colin Keogh & the Rapid Foundation, and the massive contribution from Accenture from Paul Pierotti, Elaine O Neill, Cathy Coleman, and Hannah Twomey.

A big thank you again to the many people who gave up their time to be with us on this historical occasion. 

Please spread the word and lets double the energy for our next meetup on Thursday 26th of April.

Janice Valentine