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Themes: Culture and Participation

We're taking over UCL channels for International Day of Persons with Disabilities

A white lady with brown hair , wearing glasses and a black top smiling at the camera

Louise Gebbett

Head of Communications and Engagement

Today is International Day for Disabled Persons and to mark the occasion the Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub) is delighted to be taking over UCL communication channels. We're a Research Centre within UCL, leading the way in Disability Innovation globally by delivering unique study opportunities and groundbreaking projects.

We've come a long way since our inception, as part of the London 2012 Paralympic legacy programme. This September our UCL Teaching and Research Centre welcomed its first cohort of students to the new Disability, Design and Innovation MSc - the first of its kind in the world. Designed to create the next generation of pioneers in the emerging field of disability innovation, the course harnesses academic excellence, innovative practice and co-creation to tackle global challenges from a new perspective.

Technology has the ability to change lives, but many disabled people are without access. This multi-disciplinary course brings together students from a variety of backgrounds covering everything from engineering and computer science, to design, international development and making. Scholarships are available for brilliant disabled student via the Snowdon Trust.

The GDI Hub also works internationally through our community interest company and global projects. We are currently delivering a flagship 20m£ AT2030 UK Aid funded programme bringing Life Changing Assistive Technology for All. We aim to reach 9 million people directly and 6 million people indirectly, testing new approaches and backing ‘what works’ to get Assistive Technology to those who need it.

Based on the UCL Here East campus, we’re part of a thriving ecosystem of technology and start-ups. Home to the UK’s most inclusive zone for accessible technology and disability-led innovation, it’s a brilliant place to study. Building work has just begun on the new campus at UCL East, where the GDI Hub will be housed in future years. A new chapter for UCL and a new chapter for the GDI Hub – we’re excited to see what the future will bring.

With lots of exciting projects in the pipeline we are specifically excited about our 2020 Disability Innovation Summit, taking place next summer on the eve of the Paralympics in Tokyo. Co-hosted by the British Council and Keio University and in partnership with the WHO Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE) Initiative, the event will bring together global leaders in the area to share learning, build collaboration and explore the future of this rapidly expanding field of study and research.

The GDI Hub is continuing to evolve, as we drive towards our vision to amplify the legacy of the Paralympic Games of 2012 by creating partnerships which enable people and communities to lead new thinking about disability across the world; especially where disability exclusion is compounded by the destructive impacts of poverty.

Follow our progress and get involved by applying for our MSc in Disability, Design and Innovation attend our Disability Innovation Summit or follow us on social media to keep up to date with our current programmes and activities.

Our colleague Paul delivering a video via twitter.
Screen shot of UCL takeover
MSc student in a wheelchair in front of the workshop in the UCL building at Here East.
MSc student at UCL Here East
MSc students focusing on work in the UCL building.
MSc students in UCL workshop