Research

Disability innovation is more than a product, service, or policy, it is a way of thinking to address disability challenges by co-designing solutions and sharing knowledge.

GDI Hub is a multi-sector, multi-partner, inter-disciplinary UCL research centre, bringing together diverse and cross-disciplinary expertise to leverage international partnerships for global reach, led by Academic Director Professor Cathy Holloway.
12-step London 2012 Disability Inclusion Model: Graphic text includes the following 12 steps positioned in a square shape around the GDI Hub logo. 1. community leaders articulation of needs and priorities, 2. P/political leadership, 3. Clear mission and joint objective setting, 4. Time limited action, 5. Governance by disabled people and community leaders, 6. Diverse partnerships where everyone can drive change, 7. Expert technical assistance and mainstreamed training, 8. Resources, resourcefulness and tools, 9. Inclusive innovation encouraged, 10. Good enough data, scrutiny and progress management, 11. Culture of excellence (beyond contractual compliance) & consequences of failure (to try), 12. Reflection and recognition of success
Highlight
United Kingdom

“This Is the Story of Community Leadership with Political Backing. (PM1)”.

“This Is the Story of Community Leadership with Political Backing. (PM1)”. Critical Junctures in Paralympic Legacy: Framing the London 2012 Disability Inclusion Model for New Global Challenges.

View project

Assistive Technology Need Data Repository

This project searches and collates population-level data on the need and coverage for assistive technology, in the forms of scoping and systematic reviews, as well as a publicly accessible data repository.

View project

Sarah Anton and Shadrek Ndlovu smiling and weaving on a loom
Malawi | South Africa | United Kingdom | Botswana

Inclusive arts and crafts design: empowering people with disability to contribute to their community in Southern Africa

The aim of the network proposal was to raise awareness within the communities of Southern Africa of the value of their cultural heritage and provide insights into how these may be expressed through inclusive crafts, leading to sustainable economic development.

View project

A person on a wheelchair on an uneven rocky path with grass patch and walls along the path
India | Indonesia | Kenya | Mongolia | Sierra Leone

AT2030 Inclusive Infrastructure

Participatory case studies on inclusive design and accessibility in cities. Creating enabling environments and infrastructure for assistive technology users through inclusive design.

View project

An image of a dancer, who is holding a position across a white background, with colour triangles decoratively placed around the figure. Text reads Disability Innovation isn't just science, it's art too
United Kingdom

Calling all Disabled Peoples Organisations for an exciting new arts project: ACTOR

Arts Collaboration Opportunities in Teaching and Research (ACTOR). ACTOR adopts an approach that brings play, exploration, and creativity together, using workshops and other interactive designs to engage and share and communicate experiences.

View project

A blind individual touching the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park tactile map
United Kingdom

PhD Research: Designing technologies to support open space leisure experiences of blind and partially sighted people

There is huge potential for mobile technology to improve blind and partially sighted people's experience of parks and open spaces and enable them to share these experiences with others. We are creating an accessible crowdsourced mapping system for BPSP to contribute their experience of visiting a park or open space and share these experiences in the forms of textual information, photos, sound bites, and videos to enable other people to enjoy these experiences anywhere in the world.

View project

Render of Tacilia, which is a voice controlled interactive tactile display composed of reconfigurable pins which can present multiple lines of braille and tactile images.
India | United Kingdom

Tacilia – A Voice Controlled Tactile User Interface for Blind and Partially Sighted Learners

Tacilia is a Voice Controlled Tactile User Interface for Blind Learners which is based on a novel shape changing material technology and an advanced speech recognition AI.

View project

United Kingdom

PhD Research: Technology Supported Capturing and Sharing of Multifaceted Running Experience

Running is not only about distance or speed but more a dynamic experiential journey in which emotions and subjective feelings play vital roles in constructing the runners’ experience. This research investigates how technology could support runners with the capturing and sharing of such experiential aspects of running experience beyond the running performance that current mainstream technologies provide.

View project

United Kingdom

Smart Prosthetic Liners

This current work looks to develop these capabilities in soft material technology, with: the development of a printable nanocomposite stretch sensor system; a low-cost digital method for casting bespoke prosthetic liners; a liner with an embedded stretch sensor for growth / volume tracking; a model liner with an embedded active cooling system.

View project

the lady watch video on the phone
Uganda

Technology for Disability Inclusive Education: A call for participation

GDI Hub is conducting a Global Survey on behalf of the World Bank to understand the level of access and the impact of technology on education for children with disabilities. We are inviting all individuals, researchers, educators and other professionals who have relevant experience on EdTech and Inclusive education to fill in this short survey.

View project

United Kingdom

Mapping Multisensory Experiences at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games were hosted at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park (QEOP) with the view of creating a dynamic new heart of east London. The park was designed to continue the legacy of the Paralympic Games and to create a diverse and inclusive space for all.

Our project contributes to this vision by (i) engaging the disabled community of east London in a conversation about their experiences and perceptions of the QEOP and then (ii) co-creating a multisensory representation of the experience of blind people as a reminder of diversity and inclusion at the park.

View project

United Kingdom

PhD Research: Make It Visible - using 3D imaging and printing from microscopic

PhD student Kate Burton​ is conducting research on using 3D imaging and printing from microscopic images to provide tactile representations for visually impaired people. The aim is to take the world seen through a microscope and make it accessible to those with visual impairments​ using tactile 3D printed models​.

View project

India | United Kingdom

PhD Research: Erasable Tactile Doodling - Toodleoo

Designing a new way to produce erasable tactile drawings and graphics to present visualisations to blind and partially sighted students and professionals. The project uses smart materials and research on ways to make them operational. The final output will be particularly useful to understand STEM subjects and to express and communicate ideas and creativity.

View project

Global

Assistive Technology 2030: technical research

AT2030 (Assistive Technology 2030) brings together partners who haven’t traditionally focused on assistive technology (AT), with experts, innovators and AT users to experiment with new ideas and thinking.

GDI Hub Academic Research Centre provides robust evidence of the effectiveness of the AT2030 projects to drive evidence and knowledge.

View project

CHI 2021 Logo Image
Japan

Disability design and innovation in low resource settings. Workshop at CHI2021

Research that focuses on understanding technology and how it could be used to empower people with disabilities who live in the Global South is sorely needed, yet conducting and planning studies in the field is often challenging.

We want to co-create a long-lasting, sustainable and creative community, made by and for researchers and practitioners from academia, NGOs, and the private sector who are interested in conducting work around technology for people with disabilities living in the Global South. Our unique workshop is designed to support this aim through synchronous and asynchronous activities. Our vision is to spark engagement beyond the boundaries of this CHI2021 workshop.

View project

PrimeVR2 Lgogo
Global

Prime-VR2

The PrimeVR2 project is a Horizon 2020 project where commercial, academic and research teams are building a virtual reality platform that will allow people with a hyperkinetic movement disorder, people who have had a stroke, and people with a sports injury to play games and interact in a virtual environment for rehabilitation.

View project

Female in a wheelchair carrying a water bottle in an informal settlement. Kid walking in the back.
Global

AT2030: Drive Availability and Affordability of Assistive Technology

To address the need gap and significantly scale up the provision of affordable and appropriate Assistive Technology, this sub-programme will test market shaping methodologies which include research, scoping, and future planning; the creation of market shaping tools; and pilot testing of market interventions. This sub-programme is led by the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI).

View project

A computer-generated frame model of a right arm with thumb, index and second fingers extended. Multi-coloured triangles surround the design.
United Kingdom

Body 2.0 - Extending ability through 3D printing technology

This project looked at identity and the changing perception of disabled people and disability. The primary focus was prosthetics and the use of new technologies including 3D printing to democratise prosthetics and allow individuals to customise their assistive devices in a timely and affordable way.

View project

A computer generated 3D model of a wheelchair on a blue chequered background.
United Kingdom

Power-up! - Fuelling the next generation of assistive technologies

A research project to understand how and when manual wheelchair users need and use power assistance and to determine if fuel cell technology is suitable for the power requirements of assistive technology, specifically wheelchairs.

View project

United Kingdom

CROWDBOT: A crowd-aware shared-control wheelchair navigation system

CROWDBOT will enable mobile robots to navigate autonomously and assist humans in crowded areas, rather than simply stopping when the going gets tough.

View project

Women standing and man in wheelchair using a mobile device next to an art sculpture

Disability Interactions (DIX) Manifesto

Disability Interaction (DIX) puts disability front and center in the design process, and in so doing aims to create accessible, creative new HCI solutions that will be better for everyone, including poor communities, which disabled people are more likely to be part of.

View project

A workshop room showing a range of wheelchairs including a hand powered bike in the foreground.
Global

Research, Evidence and Impact - as part of the AT2030 programme

The AT2030 Sub-Programme on “Research, evidence and impact” seeks to understand ‘what works’ and develop a framework for the innovations and policy interventions across the AT2030 programme.

View project

Logo of the title of the project: fit for purpose prosthetics. For is represented by the number four which in the center has a hand with half an arm that appear to be a prosthetic.
Jordan | Uganda | United Kingdom

Fit-for-purpose, affordable body-powered prostheses

Fit-for-purpose, affordable body-powered prostheses is designing upper limb prostheses that are both low cost and fit for their purpose and circumstance. The project is funded through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Global Challenges Research Fund.

View project

An ugandan boy in a full classroom raises his hand to ask something to teacher.
Uganda

Inclusive Education in Uganda: The Impact of Assistive Technology

The project focuses on the impact of assistive technology and accessible learning materials in promoting participation of children with disabilities in Uganda. This project aims to provide support to overcome barriers to education through assistive technology and to develop the evidence base for how technology helps inclusion in the classroom.

View project

Local Production Local Solutions Grantee Map
Nigeria | Uganda | Zambia | Nepal | South Sudan

Local Production Local Solutions

Global logistics have been compromised by lockdowns and border controls across Africa and other low to middle-income countries (LMICs), leaving many businesses and citizens without key parts of their supply chain. This condition has exposed the rigid, inflexible state of production in many settings, demonstrating the need for locally resilient, flexible production ecosystems. LPLS is working to develop broader, restorative, and agile supply systems, while providing people with the life-saving health and community resources they need to face current restrictions.

View project

CHI 2021 Logo Image
Japan

Rethinking the Senses: A Workshop on Multisensory Embodied Experiences and Disability Interactions

The dynamic aspects of living with disability, life transitions, including ageing, psychological distress, long-term conditions such as chronic pain and new conditions such as long-COVID affect people’s abilities. Interactions with this diversity of embodiments can be enriched, empowered and augmented through using multisensory and cross-sensory modalities to create more inclusive technologies and experiences.

This workshop will explore three related sub-domains: immersive multi-sensory experiences, embodied experiences, and disability interactions and design. The aim is to better understand how we can rethink the senses in technology design for disability interactions and the dynamic self, constructed through continuously changing sensing capabilities either because of changing ability or because of the empowering technology.

This workshop will:

  1. bring together HCI researchers from different areas,
  2. discuss tools, frameworks and methods, and
  3. form a multidisciplinary community to build synergies for further collaboration.

View project

Lady in a wheelchair, wearing a bright orange top, holding a yellow water jug; a boy follows behind. They are in a street in India.

PhD Research Programme

Talented students are invited to propose a PhD research project in areas related to AI powered Physiological & Affective Computing, with the aim to create novel assistive technology and boost disability innovation.

View project

An image of the Brain.
United Kingdom

Artificial Intelligence for Mental Wellbeing Monitoring

The aim of this project to build new low-cost approaches to more reliable mental wellbeing measurements using mobile sensing technology, supporting unconstrained and potentially a variety of everyday situations.

View project

Sculpture of a giant character on top of a space hopper with wheelchair users interacting with the sculpture via their mobile phone
United Kingdom

Disability Interactions in Digital Games: Workshop at CHI Play 2019

We are very keen to have a mixture of academic and non-academic papers at this workshop therefore, we would like to invite additional contributions in the format of a social paper OR a standard 4-page CHI extended abstract. Social papers are maximum one page in length and act as a CV for networking. These can be submitted by anyone interested in the area of accessibility and gaming. We have extended the deadline to the 1st of October.

View project

A wheelchair user facing away from camera at a bright yellow table full of art supplies, the floor is orange/red chequered pattern and there are two other people at the table. It looks like a classroom.
Kenya

AT2030: Assistive Technology Scoping Exercise

Funded by UK AID this focused on mapping and analysis of the innovation landscape around Assistive Technology globally with a focus on low and middle-income countries to highlight potential market failures and to scope out possible solutions.

View project

A female wheelchair user in dark clothes and beanie hat ascending a ramp from right to left in a sports hall.
United Kingdom

ARCCS - Accessible Routes from Crowdsourced Cloud Services

Ongoing research where we have developed a new technique for wheelchair localisation and surface determination using a fusion of GPS/IMU information and machine learning. Data captured helps wheelchair users travel in a more effective ways and share data to demonstrate accessibility issues and encourage improvements.

View project

A busy street scene in India showing a broad range or motor and manually powered wheeled transport for disabled people
India

Street Rehab in India

An EPSRC GCRF project the project tested a new methodology for creating accessible maps for fast changing cities like Delhi. Using embedded sensors attached to wheelchairs, we mapped accessible and difficult to access routes. Initially, the project also aimed to capture rehabilitation metrics whilst pushing a wheelchair beyond a clinical environment, but instead the community of wheelchair users we worked with preferred to use the tool as an advocacy tool.

View project

Indonesia | Sierra Leone

Community-led Solutions: Assistive Tech in informal settlements

Researchers from the Development Planning Unit at UCL, along with Leonard Cheshire, are working with the GDI Hub to undertake an exciting programme working with communities living in conditions of informality (often referred to as slums) in Freetown, Sierra Leone and Banjarmasin, Indonesia.

View project

A picture of a computer model of a dynamic seat for children with severe movement disorders
United Kingdom

Dynamic seating for children with severe movement disorders

GDI Hub is working with Designability to evaluate a new kind of seat that moves with the child and enables them to explore movement while they are seated and well supported

View project

Affordable powered mobility toy for young children, with panels for children to paint on and a simple seat design.
India | Kenya

Powered mobility for young children everywhere

Young children everywhere need to be mobile - to be able to explore their world, make choices about what they want to do, who they want to play with, and where they want to go.

View project