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Experts Bench: Disability Inclusion in ICT Research


Research has shown that when disabled people are part of the technology design process, the technology created is better and more useful. However, many information and communication technologies (ICT) research projects and those which design assistive technology fail to engage adequately with disabled peoples’ lived experiences as experts. When they do, often it is not in the spirit of full collaboration throughout the research and design process or only happens once funding is secured and projects are underway.

We are working towards changing that.

In our Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded two-year project, Inclusive Public Activities for Information and Communication Technologies (INPACT), we will develop novel mechanisms to enable and empower disabled people to be involved in ICT research and contribute to assistive technology design for all.

We will do this by:

  • Creating a masterclass series on topics related to ICT research and AT design for disabled communities within the UK and providing hands-on experience of working with GDI Hub researchers and MSc DDI students
  • Establishing the ICT Research Insights Panel comprising disabled lived experience experts who are passionate about disability inclusion in ICT to work with researchers and academics across the UK
  • Drafting a ‘disability inclusion in ICT research’ strategy with the ICT Research Insights Panel to promote stronger participation of disabled people in ICT research within EPSRC (and UKRI) remit
  • Public dissemination of learning through webinars and an annual showcase

Apply now by completing this short form.


We are establishing this ICT Research Insights Panel of disabled lived experience experts who are passionate about disabled people leading and collaborating in the research and design of assistive technologies. This panel will work alongside the INPACT project steering committee to explore the current challenges in disability inclusion in ICT research and advise on ways to improve the involvement of disabled people.

The ICT insights panel will have four activities beginning in the summer of 2023.

  1. Panel onboarding and commencement
  1. A workshop on ‘challenges of disability inclusion in ICT’, hosted at the UCL East campus on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, Stratford, London.
  1. A ‘knowledge sharing’ session with researchers and academics on applying for research grants and reviewing research grant proposals.
  1. A workshop to co-create a ‘disability inclusion in ICT research’ strategy which will be presented to EPSRC.

Optional activities may include:

  • Participating in an online webinar as a speaker and/or as part of a panel
  • Delivering a talk on your experience to our Masterclass training participants and MSc Disability Design and Innovation and Human-Computer Interaction students
  • Review future small grant proposals as part of a diverse and multidisciplinary panel of experts for TIDAL Network Plus and UCL Culture (and Public Engagement) grants.

Apply now by completing this short form.


The panel members will be paid a participation fee of £150 per activity.

Beyond the length of the project, there will be opportunities to engage in activities related to disability inclusion in ICT research voluntarily.

Apply now by completing this short form.

How does this relate to the wider expert bench panel?

You may wish to sign up to more than one expert bench suitable to your experience and interest.

Expert Bench: Disability Innovation

Our ‘Expert Bench: Disability Innovation’ is the primary mechanism to find out about recruitment opportunities and contract resourcing. It is intended for those who work, study, research or innovate within AT, Inclusive Design, EdTech, HCI, Engineering, Product Design, CS, Development, Healthcare, Humanitarian.

Experts Bench: Lived Experience

For people with specific experience of disability or living with an impairment or health condition - who wish to provide expert insights and reflections to drive disability innovation impact.

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