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Assistive Technology Business Innovations 

28- 29 SEPTEMBER 2021

How can we leverage business innovations to reach an estimated 85-95% of people with disabilities who need assistive technology (AT) in southern Africa? 

A precursor to the AT Expo 2022

SAFOD and Loughborough University are organizing a webinar to explore and share innovative business solutions that, if well supported, can help to increase access to assistive technology in Southern Africa. The webinar comes after two years since SAFOD held another webinar on assistive technology in Cape Town in partnership with the University of Washington and AfriNEAD. This webinar is the first of several others to be held between September 2021 and September 2022 to build momentum towards the Southern Africa Assistive Technology Expo (SAATE)


What You’ll Learn

You will learn about a young Motswana woman, Lucia, who will share her experience managing the Signcoach app, a mobile application that teaches the Botswana sign language. Tendekayi will share his inspirations for developing the world's first rechargeable hearing aid battery. A researcher, Tone, will speak about an innovative tool for screening hearing impairments using commercially available tablets, headphones, and dedicated software for gaming. Kim will share lessons from the GSMA's digital AT innovations. For more examples, you can download the full event schedule. 


Background to the webinar

From March 2016 until February 2019, SAFOD, in partnership with AfriNEAD and the University of Washington, were implementing an innovative project known as the AT-Info-Map with initial funding from Google.org. It primarily started by developing a mobile app for Android and iOS to map the availability of assistive technology in Southern Africa. It then incorporated an AT web database. The project has now multiplied, with more partners joining. The project now includes the regional AT Exhibition to be held in September 2022, and a series of national AT awareness seminars, among other AT initiatives.



Confirmed List of Speakers

The event will draw speakers from academia, research institutions, disability organizations, and small and medium-sized assistive technology entrepreneurs. Below the list of all the speakers who have confirmed to grace the event.

Hon. Alexia Manombe-Ncube (Keynote Speaker)

Deputy Minister of Disability Affairs in the Presidency - Namibia.

Wabotlhe Chimidza 

Chairperson at SAFOD & at Botswana Federation of the Disabled (BOFOD), Botswana.

Mussa Chiwaula

Director General at Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD), Botswana.

Prof. Gubela Mji

Chairperson for the African Network for Evidence–to–Action in Disability (AfriNEAD), South Africa. 

Deborah Tigere

Country Director at CBM Christoffel-Blindenmission Christian Blind Mission e.V. - Zimbabwe Office.  

Gerhard Erasmus 

Assistive Technology Specialist at Edit Microsystems (Pty) Ltd., South Africa 

Rebecca Matter 

Social science researcher, program evaluator, and project manager in global health and human rights fields, USA

Kim Viljoen

Senior Advocacy and Market Engagement Manager, Assistive Tech, Mobile for Development at GSMA

George Torrens 

Senior Lecturer at Loughborough Design School, London.

Tendekayi Katsiga

Founder at Deaftronics Social Enterprise, Botswana.

Tone Øderud

Senior Researcher at SINTEF, Norway. 

George Kayange

Director of programmes at Southern Africa Federation of the Disabled (SAFOD), Botswana.

Simon Downs

Lecturer in Graphic Communication and Illustration at Loughborough University, London.

Catherine Holloway 

Academic Director, GDI Hub & Professor of Interaction Design & Innovation, UCLIC, London. 

Timothy Whitehead

Senior Lecturer in Product Design, Head of Design at Aston University, London.

Don't Miss Out!

Register to participate in the webinar now. You can click here or anywhere on the banner below to open the Zoom sign-up page in new window.

Click the banner to open teh Zoom sign-up page

Your email address and other personal data will be safely managed according to our data privacy policy and recording consent statement here

I can't wait to learn how my fellow entrepreneurs are getting their AT businesses to survive, especially during this hectic coronavirus period. However, I'm more interested in the specific innovations that continue to attract customers and expand their business.     

- Patience Malinga, Zimbabwe

Remember, this is a FREE webinar. Not decided yet? Do you still need more inspiration why you should attend this event? Watch our promo video!

Meanwhile, if you just want to appreciate AT suppliers and disability services in ten southern African countries, you can view the listing on SAFOD's app. Click on Google Play or AppStore icons below to start downloading and installing the app. And don't forget to follow installation instructions here.

Or do you prefer an electronic e-directory/publication? Now available here.

Download AT-Info-Map App for Andoid
Download AT-Info-Map App for Andoid

Southern Africa Federation of teh Disabled (SAFOD) | [email protected] | +267 3170751