Doing something to mitigate challenges faced by the disabled? Read on

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is calling on engineers, designers, the scientific and innovation community, persons with disabilities, humanitarians, manufacturers, investors and entrepreneurs to join forces in the ‘Enable Makeathon’ to develop affordable solutions for challenges faced by persons with disabilities in rural areas.

Image source: Nihal Kashinath, IoTBLR

The Enable Makeathon is a 60-day programme taking place between November 2015 and January 2016. It consists of an ‘Online Track’ for teams from all around the world, and an ‘Onsite Track’ with a series of events in Bengaluru. Teams will work towards finding innovative solutions to nine challenges that would ultimately result in one or all of the following desired results:

  • Improving individual autonomy of persons with physical disabilities

  • Improving the access to and quality of physical rehabilitation services

  • Adapting and using new technologies in a more effective manner

The solutions developed will take the form of early prototypes that effectively illustrate the functionality and potential look of a product, proving that the theory behind the idea actually works.

To ensure that the early prototypes can make it to the next level, i.e. be developed further and mass produced for customers, the ICRC also invites companies, manufacturers and investors to be part of the process.

The nine Enable Challenges 

The challenges are aimed at supporting persons with physical disabilities who are not able to achieve full participation and equalisation of opportunities in their community and society.

Improving the individual autonomy of persons with physical disabilities

  • Challenge 1: Performing activities of daily living

  • Challenge 2: Mobility in and around the house

  • Challenge 3: Mobility within and beyond the community

  • Challenge 4: Accessing education and training

  • Challenge 5: Employability and self-employment

Improving the access to and quality of the physical rehabilitation services provided

  • Challenge 6: Remote access to physical rehabilitation services

  • Challenge 7: Remote follow-up and users-to-service provider interactions

  • Challenge 8: Data collection to improve the quality of services

The Open Challenge

  • Challenge 9: Adaptation and use of new technologies

Click here to know more about the challenges. 

The last date to send in applications to participate in the Enable Makeathon in November 14th 2015. For more info and to apply, visit:


This is a collaborative initiative of the ICRC and several partner institutions, including the Association of People with Disability India, Workbench Projects, Internet of Things (IoT) Bangalore, swissnex India, Dalberg Global Development Advisors, the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Bangalore, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras, IKP EDEN and Intellecap.

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