Hackaday Advises The United Nations

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is being held this week at the United Nations in New York and Hackaday will be there. Sophi Kravitz is representing us as the conference discusses assistive technology.

Sophi’s panel is Thursday mid-day, entitled: Tec Talk: Brilliant New Designs in Assistive Technology, Ease of Use & Multimedia. The Hackaday community has become a world leader in thinking about new designs, implementations, and increased availability of assistive technologies. We’re really excited to have an organization like the UN recognize this trait. Congratulations on all of you who have spent time thinking about ways to make life better for a lot of people — you are making a difference in the world.

Most notable in this category is Eyedrivomatic, the eye-controlled electric wheelechair extension project which was selected as the winner of the 2015 Hackaday Prize. Awarded second prize last year was another notable project. OpenBionics designed an open source, easily manufactured, prosthetic hand. Hand Drive, a Best Product finalist from last year, developed a device to operate a wheelchair with a rowing motion. Like we said, the list goes on and on.

But of course our biggest accomplishments lie ahead. The 2016 Hackaday Prize is currently underway and again focusing on building something that matters. The current challenge is Citizen Scientist which focuses on making scientific experimentation, equipment, and knowledge more widely available. But on August 22nd we turn our sights to the topic of Sophi’s UN Panel as the Hackaday Prize takes on Assistive Technologies. Don’t wait until then, make this the summer you change peoples’ lives. Start your design now.

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10 thoughts on “Hackaday Advises The United Nations

  1. The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Sounds like a thing all the people who want to make 90% of the western half of the USA into roadless wilderness should be forced to attend.

    No motorized or human powered vehicles (ie mountain bikes) or horses allowed. If you’re not healthy enough to walk in and out, and wealthy enough to take off a week or two from work for the hike, too bad, so sad, no camping in the back country for you. They don’t want people to be able to drive into the back of beyond for a three day weekend to spend a day and part of two others doing a little fishing or just enjoying the mountain air for a bit.

    When the outdoor columnist, Pete Zimowski, for the Idaho Statesman, broke a leg snowboarding at Bogus Basin, he devoted a column to whinging about how there was only one pond in Boise with wheelchair access for fishing.

    But soon as his leg healed, he was right back to advocating for more roadless wilderness.

    If government property is supposed to have access for disabled persons, according to the Americans with Disabilities Act, and all this wilderness is government property, why are they going to great lengths to make it inaccessible to a large portion of the American public?

    1. Have supported stuff such ERA, ADA, etc; but this is over the top. There are many parts of the NP system having programs and facilities for the challenged. But how we make our backcountry preserves available to those with all types of disabilities without incurring significant environmental damage is beyond my simple mind. Not to mention the resultant funding catastrophe to the Dept of Interior’s budget.

      So you want access? No one person or group gets to have it all, or even some small part of it, without some level of innovation and effort. And. surprise, this is the ‘maker’ community. Go for it – there is a clause in section 12207 for you:
      “Congress reaffirms that nothing in the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.) is to be construed as prohibiting the use of a wheelchair in a wilderness area by an individual whose disability requires use of a wheelchair, and consistent with the Wilderness Act no agency is required to provide any form of special treatment or accommodation, or to construct any facilities or modify any conditions of lands within a wilderness area in order to facilitate such use.”

      The ADA is a non sequitur for undeveloped federal lands. But you probably know that because you have certainly read 28 CFR Part 35.

  2. what kind of time frame did it take to set up an appointment to actually speak at the U.N.? i mean you just don’t fill out a form,turn it in and walk through the doors very easily. a friend of mine and myself have this ongoing feud about the overall process and how hard it is to gain entrance to the U.N. meetings

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