How can accessible technology support independent living?

3 March 2016

On 1 March 2015, EDF and Google organised a special event focusing on “Accessible technology for independent living”. The event took place at the European Parliament hosted by MEP Evelyne Gehardt and supported by Debating Europe who organised a debate in the end of the event with representatives from EDF, Google and the European Commission responding to questions from an online debate published on Debating Europe’s website, as well as from the audience in the room.

EDF was represented by its Secretary, Rodolfo Cattani, who underlined: “Accessible technology is beneficial for everyone, not only for persons with disabilities. Breaking down barriers means making a better society for all. Companies should change attitude and should design accessible products and services for all users with different abilities. We need binding legislation that clearly sets accessibility requirements. With the recently published European Accessibility Act, the EU has the opportunity to make a real change”.

During the event, several projects of technology supporting independent living for persons with disabilities were presented by the different individuals and non-profit organisations awarded with the Google Impact Challenge grant.

  • The Wheelmap project, a global database of accessible locations for people with disabilities.
  • The Wayfindr enabling people with visual impairments to navigate independently with a seamless ecosystem of apps and beacons.
  • My Human Kit, an online platform to connect people in need of prosthetics to low-cost, open-source 3D printed models.
  • BLITAB, a braille display tablet to enable people with visual impairments to access ore content in real time.


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