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HandiCab | Ford | Netherlands

55% of Dutch people with a disability are struggling to find a job.  To demonstrate the capabilities of the disabled community, Ford launched HandiCab, the taxi firm with exclusively disabled drivers.

The reaction was divided.  Many travellers simply did not trust the disabled drivers and declined the experience.  Those that did discovered that disabled people are perfectly capable. 

 HandiCabs was trending on social media with 4.6m views with coverage across press and TV.  Importantly Ford have led by example and now employs over 4,200 people in Europe with disabilities.

Touch the Music Project | Hyundai | Korea

Hyundai brought music to the hearing impaired, by transforming music into vibrations so that people who cannot hear can listen through their fingertips.  Their innovative Music Seat brought the joy of listening to music to deaf and mute children who felt the emotive effect of music.

For every 1000 likes, Hyundai donated a Music Seat to deaf mute schools across Korea.  This achieved over ½ million YouTube views 51,000 online donations leading to over 5000 donated seats.  Hyundai are now considering featuring the Music Seat in actual cars.

Changing the Game | Microsoft | USA

The video games industry has long ignored the issue of gamers with limited mobility.  The introduction of the Xbox Adaptive controller, Microsoft levelled the playing field for 33 million gamers.

The new controller was developed after speaking to children with mobility needs and seeing first-hand the hacks this audience were using in order to play.

The campaign was launched with an ad during the Super Bowl and which generated a global conversation on gamers with disabilities.  More importantly it empowered gamers and led to a change in the industry with competitor companies releasing their own adaptive controllers.

pUp Syndrome | Pedigree | Russia

In Russia, a country of 46m people, only 4 people with Downs Syndrome are officially employed. Pup Syndrome set about changing perceptions of people with this condition

They were given the chance to show what they were capable of in a job where they would not be judged for their disabilities, a Dog Hotel.    It demonstrated they are ready, willing and able to work.

 The campaign led to a significant increase in employers who wished to employ individuals with Downs Syndrome.  The Charity DownSideUp also opened a new department to find employment for people with this specific condition.

Dot Mini - The First Smart Media Device for the Visually Impaired | Dot | Germany

Only 3% of text content worldwide is available in a braille format.  This means that the 285 million visually impaired people have been severely restricted by what they can access.  Indeed, even if text was translated to braille, the translations themselves were often ambiguous.

Harnessing AI technology, the Dot Mini is the first device that can access, and therefore translate, any digital text independently.

The Mini Dot is a truly life changing device for the visually impaired.  300,000 books are already available on the device and the dot translation engine now has capabilities close to human accuracy.

Lucy | Prince of Wales Hospital | Australia

Even in modern hospitals, the primary communication system between patients and hospital staff is a bell and a light.  This leads to inefficiencies, and worse, patients being put in danger as requests cannot be prioritised in order of those most urgent.  At worst, this can mean the difference between life and death.

Lucy, a voice activated bedside assistance service either accesses the database of FAQ or contacts the appropriate nurse to respond.  Lucy also has important implications to help ensure efficient staffing levels.

Lucy has led to a 79.8% reduction in emergency response times.

Blink To Speak | Asha EK Hope Foundation | India

60 million people around the world live with a paralysed body and alert mind.

Blink to Speak is the world’s first eye language, giving paralysed people a method to interact without speech.  This innovative approach allows patients to communicate the 50 most common requests to their carers, simply by moving their eyes.     

Blink to Speak has been adopted by over 5000 patients and their families all over the world, who otherwise would have been excluded from accessing help due to excessively high costs.

Seeing AI – Talking Camera App for the Blind | Microsoft | USA

The Seeing AI camera app from Microsoft, turns the visual world into an audible experience.  

Using AI tech, the app can read text, but also translate images into a narration.  From shopping in the supermarket, to reading post the app can narrate the situation to the user.  The app also features tech to read the emotion on a person’s face and turns that into an audible message.  It can even make other apps, such as Twitter accessible by providing spoken commentary to their photos.

Since its launch in 2017, this free app has helped its 200,000 blind users complete 7 million tasks.

Blind Passion | Flamengo | Brazil

In Brazil the law entitles deaf people, and one escort, to attend football matches for free.  But it can be hard to find a friend or chaperone to accompany them.  The solution? Blind Passion, the app that connects blind fans with to able bodied Flamengo fans to escort them to the match.

The app was developed, and a campaign launched to connect with disabled and able-bodied fans and then paired those who lived close to each one another. 

The campaign generated 5m of earned media but importantly saw engagement from the fan base where 700 blind people signed up, along with over 8000 non-disabled escorts. 

i rescue | Amblyopia World Campaign | Colombia

Treating Amblopia (“lazy eye”) is not difficult, but for children in rural or poorer areas who do not have access to regular medical care, it can go undiagnosed.  As a result, children can needlessly lose their sight.

By inserting masks into newspapers, Amblyopia was able to reach a wide cross section of the community.  These masks were made attractive to children, and by giving simple instructions parents were able to diagnose potential Amblopia in their child and provided treatment if it was required.  The masks have helped 1500 children and Amblyopia expect to reach 300,000 children a year when they are distributed in a wider scale.

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