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Reflections from Derick, graduate of the MSc DDI

Photograph of Derick, a young black man wearing a suit. Smiling towards the camera.

Derick Omari graduated from the MSc Disability, Design and Innovation in 2021. Here, Derick shares his own personal reflections of the course and tells us what he has been up to since:

"After my undergraduate program in Business Administration I started a tech-based social enterprise that developed accessible and assistive technologies for persons with disabilities. I had to do a lot of learning on my own but got stuck many times having to figure out the types of business models that work for assistive technology innovation in lower middle-income countries and how to design affordable and efficient disability development solutions that can be scaled. I often underestimated the complexity (policies, abandonment, maintenance, product, price, distribution, personnel etc) of designing and delivering disability inclusive solutions to have a long-term impact.

I then chanced on the MSc DDI. I thought it was too good to true. The interdisciplinarity nature of the course (business, disability, engineering, research and design) and the institutional connection with GDI Hub was invaluable. I was excited by how this course could equip me with knowledge, connections and capacity to drive disability innovation across different fields - especially in Africa.

The MSc DDI program exceeded my expectations. The opportunity to learn across UCL, Loughborough University London and University of the Arts London meant learning from some of the best experts in the field - I still reach out to the network for assistance when I need it. My course mates came from diverse backgrounds with the same drive, passion, and determination to change the global narrative for persons with disabilities.

Life post the MSc has been busy and full of bliss. Having a better understanding and appreciation of disability has propelled my work to impact more persons with disabilities. The social enterprise I lead (Tech Era) has gone ahead to reach more children and youth with disabilities (5000+) in one year through assistive and accessible products and trainings.

I am also in a short-term role for the United Nations as the National Consultant on disability in Ghana to lead the development of a strategic plans to re-enact the national disability act and design coordination mechanisms within government and among disability stakeholders. I am also serving as the country representative for Ghana on the global 40-member expert network on accessibility for the Global Initiative for Inclusive ICT’s and Smart City for All, a UNCRPD initiative. My capacity to contribute and impact many lives of persons with disabilities in Ghana and across Africa has been significantly increased as a result of the MSC DDI program".

Thanks Derick Omari for sharing and congratulations on all your achievements since 🙌

Find out more and apply for the MSc here: MSc Disability, Design and Innovation