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13 September 2023
09:30 UK / 04:30 EST

Disability Innovation Summit: Inclusive Interactions

Bringing together global experts and new voices to share big ideas and ask the question: What next for disability innovation?

Over the past 7 years the world has changed. Disability innovation has emerged into the mainstream. The power of Assistive Technology (AT) is now widely recognised. Decision makers, governments and businesses are embracing accessibility - making inclusive decisions on infrastructure, education, healthcare and communities.

This summit explores the vision to 2030, bringing together global experts and new voices to share big ideas. We'll hear what's been tested and what's been learnt - asking the question: What next for disability innovation?

Tech has the power to change lives, but its people that change the world. Hear from innovators, communities, advocates, researchers and lived experienced experts.

  • Online event with in-person audience; captioning in English will be provided alongside international sign language.

Agenda [13th & 14th Sept 2023]

Sharing big ideas and powerful insights, expert reflections, talks, showcases and discussions. Full agenda detail can be found on the agenda page.

DAY 1: Sharing big ideas and powerful insights

Disability innovation today...the good, the bad, the untold

  • Inclusive infrastructure: can cities be inclusive?
  • Innovation: are ecosystems ready to scale for success?
  • Participation and leadership: No tech about us, without us
  • What fails: and what's not needed. Disability dongles, failure or learning curve
  • What works: and why

DAY 2: Exploring a new horizon

Disability innovation tomorrow...what next

  • Disability justice: a disability innovation ambition or contradiction?
  • Para sport: a vehicle for community level social change?
  • Systems Strengthening, Disability innovation and Finance: is it possible to create the mechanisms for change?
  • Future tech: revolutionary solutions and AI – the new face of disability inclusion?


Here's a snap-shot of who will be joining this years summit...see the speakers page for full details. More being added.

Colour Image of Vicky Austin
Dr Vicki Austin
Co-founder and CEO of CIC

Lizzie Smith

Founder of Gradatim
A photograph of Pete Donnelly, a white man with ginger hair and a bear. Smiling towards the camera. Photographed outside

Pete Donnelly

Founder of The Wheelchair Skills College
Photograph of Pollyanna a white woman wearing a dark blue Jumper. Pollyanna is outside, it is a sunny day
Pollyanna Wardrop
GDI Hub Financial Inclusion Researcher
Associate Professor Youngjun Cho
Associate Professor at UCL Computer Science & Director of MSc DDI & Computer Scientist
Kathryn Townsend a white female wearing spectacles smiling at the camera

Kathryn Townsend

Head of Customer Vulnerability Government Disability & Access Ambassador (banking sector)
Coloured photograph of Fernando, a white man with short dark hair. Pictured here wearing a suit and stood next to a UNICEF sign. Smiling widely.

Fernando Botelho

Programme Specialist, Assistive Technology, UNICEF
Colour profile Image of Tigmanshu Bhatnagar
Dr Tigmanshu Bhatnagar
Research Fellow, GDI Hub
A coloured photograph of Amba, an Indian woman with short dark hair, wearing glasses

Amba Salelkar

Senior Manager, Helpdesk, at the International Disability Alliance
A coloured photograph of Banya, a black man wearing a suit and smiling towards the camera

Banya Ojok

International Disability Alliance, Assistive Technology User Fellow
Coloured photograph of Kylie Shae, a white woman with short dark hair smiling at the camera. Pictured in front a backdrop of the Sustainable Development Goals

Kylie Shae

Team Lead, Access to Assistive Technology, at World Health Organization
A photograph of Anna, a white woman with short dark hair who is smiling towards the camera
Anna Landre
GDI Hub PhD student and Research Fellow
Colour photograph of Bernard Chiira
Bernard Chiira
Kenya Country Representative (GDI Hub CIC) and Director of GDI Hub's Innovate Now accelerator
Colour image of Mikaela Patrick, a white woman with shoulder length dark hair, wearing glasses.
Mikaela Patrick
GDI Hub Head of Inclusive Infrastructure and Climate
Jamie smiling to the camera holding a bouquet of flowers
Jamie Danemayer
GDI Hub PhD student and Research Fellow
A headshot of Professor Catherine Holloway in black and white filter
Professor Cathy Holloway
Co-founder and Academic Director of GDI Hub
Chris Patnoe profile picture - Chris is a white male with a navy blue shirt smiling at the camera

Christopher Patnoe

Head of Accessibility and Disability Inclusion for EMEA at Google
Colour Image of Iain McKinnon
Iain McKinnon
Co-founder of GDI Hub and Director of Inclusive Design

Pascal Bijleveld

CEO of ATScale
Dr Leda Kamenopoulou, a white female with curly black hair and an orange top smiling at the camera.

Dr Leda Kamenopoulou

Dr Leda Kamenopoulou, Associate Professor, IOE, UCL.
Professor Sujath with black and grey hair smiling at the camera. She is wearing spectacles

Professor Sujatha Srinivasan

Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Madras Honorary Professor, UCL
A white man with short hair, smiling towards the camera

Nick Gompertz

CEO/ Director EarSwitch Ltd
Colour image of Ben Oldfrey smiling at the camera
Dr Ben Oldfrey
Lecturer/Assistant Professor at UCL
Brian Mwenda, a bla black male, with a beard,  wearing a grey suit, paired with a white shirt smiling at the camera

Brian Mwenda

Founder & CEO at Hope Tech; Products Director at Senses Hub
Photograph of Derick, a young black man wearing a suit. Smiling towards the camera.

Derick Omari

Technology Entrepreneur, Disability Inclusion & Accessibility Consultant
Photo: Lydia smiles and tilts their head slightly to the side, looking confidently at the camera. They are a young-ish East Asian person with a streak of teal in their short black hair, wearing glasses, a cobalt blue jacket and navy tie, with a blue copper wall behind them. Photo by Sarah Tundermann.

Lydia X. Z. Brown

Founding Executive Director, The Autistic People of Color Fund Vice Chair & Past President, Disability Rights Bar Association Lecturer in Disability Studies and Women's and Gender Studies, Georgetown University
Puneet with black hair, wearing a checked shirt while smiling at the camera

Puneet Singhal

Community manager at Global Network of Young Persons with Disabilities & Founder of Ssstart
An Indian female with long black hair wearing spectacles.

Roshni Poddar

Research fellow at Microsoft in Bangalore
A white male wearing spectacles and a blue checked shirt, smiling at the camera

Richard Cave

Speech and Language Therapist (SLT), PhD candidate at University College London
Dr Blaikie, a white male with dark brown hair and wearing glasses and a light blue shirt

Dr Andrew Blaikie

Consultant Ophthalmologist in NHS Fife and Senior Lecturer in the Infection and Global Health Division team at the University of St Andrews.
Rama in a white shirt looking at the camera while smiling

Rama Gheerawo

Director, The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art RCA Reader in Inclusive Design
Dr Kush Kanodia holding the paralympic torch over his head while in a white track suit

Dr Kush Kanodia

Kush is a disability rights and race equality champion, a multiple award-winning social entrepreneur and a systems leader.
Rama in a white shirt looking at the camera while smiling

Rama Gheerawo

Director, The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, Royal College of Art RCA Reader in Inclusive Design
A photo of Amit in a suit

Amit Ratna Bajracharya.

Managing Director, Certified Prosthetist Orthotist Limb Care Nepal Pvt Ltd.
Ganga smiling at the camera

Ganga Gurung

Occupational Therapist
Prof Mufunaji, balck male smiling at the camera

Prof. Mufunanji Magalasi.

Associate Professor of drama and development communication at the University of Malawi.
A coloured photo of Jennie

Jennifer Wong

Project Manager for Para Sport Against Stigma
Samuel on a wheelchair

Samuel Nakhozwe Nkhoma

I’mPOSSIBLE Educator/Para athlete/Lawyer

#GDIx events

Build-up events across the summer that feed into the Disability Innovation Summit

Pre-summit events

  • Launch event: England Country Capacity Assessment of AT Thursday 7th Sept 2023, 1-2pm BST [online event - Register now]

This digital launch will be an opportunity for us to present report findings, sharing more on the complex state of AT in England. While we found that delivery systems tend to provide quality products that have a strong, positive impact on people’s lives, processes are often slow and stressful for users and providers alike. This research aimed to support policymakers in identifying actions to strengthen service delivery to better meet disabled people’s needs, improving outcomes for AT users and reducing inefficiencies in the current approach.

  • Building a roadmap for Assistive Technology innovation Thursday 7th Sept 2023, 1-4.15pm BST [in person event - Register now]

Bringing together researchers, industry experts, clinicians and innovators to showcase the latest interdisciplinary research in AT innovation, considering how research translates into new products and services, and how we can create a roadmap for the advancement of Assistive Technology. This event is brought to you by TIDAL Network Plus - Transformative Innovation in the Delivery of Assisted Living products and services, supported by Health Innovation Manchester.