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Disability Innovation Summit; exploring disability innovation alongside the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games

Released: 24th August 2020

On the eve of the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games the Global Disability Innovation Hub (GDI Hub) and British Council will co-host the second Disability Innovation Summit to explore global breakthroughs in scalable technology, innovation and culture, and its ability to create global impact.

Held in central Tokyo on the 24th August 2020, the summit will bring together global experts, organisations, entrepreneurs and individuals to explore the future of disability innovation and its potential to change lives around the world.

The Paralympic Games represents the forefront of assistive technology in the sporting world, the pinnacle of design, technology and research. It drives forward innovation, engages communities globally and generates a platform for change. Beyond sport disability innovation is expanding on an international scale. Businesses, governments and organisations are recognising the power of disabled audiences, the impact of accessibility, the benefit of inclusive design and the opportunities created by technological advancements.

The Disability Innovation Summit, delivered in partnership WHO Global Cooperation on Assistive Technology (GATE) Initiative, will look at the global potential of the disability innovation movement; the latest products and services, thinking and research, approaches and outputs. It’s a unique opportunity for multi-disciplinary sector engagement, to accelerate disability innovation on a global scale.

In 2017 the GDI Hub hosted the inaugural Disability Innovation Summit, alongside the Para-athletic Championships on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. The event showcased leading products, initiatives, research and ideas - bringing together the disability innovation community across the academic, governmental, business, NGO’s, sports and media sectors. Introducing a collaborative and multi-disciplinary approach to disability innovation, the event created a platform for new ideas, a forum to share successes and the opportunity to learn from others.

The 2020 Disability Innovation Summit, co-hosted by the British Council Tokyo, will showcase leading scalable technologies and advancements from around the world, exploring what works and how technology transfer can reach low and middle income countries.

By 2020 two billion people will require Assistive Technology*. Currently only 10% of the world's 1 billion disabled people have access to the assistive technology they need*. The Disability Innovation Summit will bring together science, technology, the arts, sport, design and culture to explore scalable solutions to global challenges.

GDI Hub CEO Vicki Austin explains why the summit is so important;

“The Paralympic Games has the ability to capture the imagination of the world, shaping culture and providing a platform for debate, discussion and ideas. Working alongside the British Council, the GDI Hub is delighted to be hosting its second Disability Innovation Summit in Tokyo on the eve of the 2020 Paralympic Games. The summit will be a unique opportunity for global experts, innovators and organisations from all sectors and disciplines to sharetheir vision and explore how together we can build scale for global impact.”

The Disability Innovation Summit will provide a dynamic platform for discussion, an opportunity to share successes and build collaborations. Organisations and individuals can get involved in a number of ways, from attending the event to submitting papers or ideas. Sponsorship opportunities also available.

Visit the website to find out more:

*WHO - 'Priority Assistive Products List (APL)' 2016

Speaker and audience at the Disability Innovation Summit
2017 Disability Innovation Summit
An old man in a wheelchair is taking a photo of an art sculpture of a man wearing shorts and braces on a space hopper.
2017 summit art piece
adam, 14:17 Man speaking to the mix of disabled and non-disabled people at the Loughborough University building.
2017 summit breakout sessions
Man speaking at the Disability Innovation Summit, HereEast building.
2017 summit speaker
At user speaks at the Disability Innovation Summit
2017 summit speaker