A not-for-profit organisation, Inclusive Tech Group has held a Disability Inclusive Hackathon (DI-HACK), a competition in disability technologies in Accra.
DI-HACK is an initiative that encourages technocrats to come together with persons with disabilities to create innovations that can improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities.
It also seeks to instil self-belief into persons with disabilities about seeking solutions to their problems by themselves.
The 2022 edition which took place from Tuesday, November 29 to December 1, was the second, after the first edition in December 2021.
This year’s competition brought together nine teams of young inventors from the Western, Central, Greater Accra, Eastern, Ashanti, Upper West, Upper East and Volta regions of Ghana.
Each team was made up of at least one person with disability.
Within the three days, the contestants came up with prototypes of various innovations from an E-Commerce portal that could enable the blind to buy online without assistance, to ones that could help detect early autism in children, aid communication with people with non-verbal autism and intellectual disabilities, and an automated wheelchair that could be controlled with voice command, joy stick, mobile App and remote control, among others.
OraTech from Tarkwa, creators of an Application that could translate speech to text to enable the deaf communicate with the hearing community, was adjudged the winner of the competition, taking home a cash prize of Gh¢10,000.
Tech-Works and Azubi Africa, all from Accra, won Gh¢7,000 and Gh¢4,000 for the second and third prizes respectively.
Inclusive Tech Group in partnership with IOT Ghana will be organising a 6-month accelerator programme to mentor the winners and introduce them to fundraising platforms to help them fully implement their innovations.
Engr. Dr. Mrs. Millicent Agangiba, Co-Founder and Executive Director of Inclusive Tech Group was impressed with the innovations displayed by the contestants.
She called for support for such initiatives to make life easy for persons with disabilities, explaining that such technologies compensate for their disabilities, enabling them to do things they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to do.
The theme for this year’s DI-HACK was “Independent Living for Persons with Disabilities-The role of Technology”.
It was sponsored by UNESCO, Google Ghana, PwC, and Institution of Engineering and Technology Ghana.
Inclusive Tech Group (ITG) is an Organisation whose main focus is to develop suitable technologies to achieve digital inclusion for vulnerable groups such as people with disabilities, women, children and the aged.