People with disabilities are entering a new world of opportunity as they rely increasingly on advances in technology — including mobility devices as well as hardware, software, and peripherals — all geared to addressing their needs.
This sea change is evident in the conversation shift about disability from cost to value, from liability to innovation potential. There are several exciting trends driving this change:
For the first time in history, there is a nexus of rising societal expectations, rapidly advancing technological innovation and significant capital earmarked for diversity, equity and inclusion to build an inclusive economy.
Until now, disability tech has been an overlooked multi-trillion-dollar global market, bigger than China. Disability is a throughline for the entire global population. As people age and the rate of non-communicable diseases rises, the global disability community is expected to increase from 1.5 to 3.5 billion people, that’s 130%, by 2050.
The demand for disability assistive products and services is enormous and growing. The disabled population currently experiences crisis-level unemployment and a lack of capital investing in early-stage solutions.Regina “Gina” Kline, Founder and Managing Partner of Enable Venturesand its partner program SmartJob, and Bernard Chiira, Director of Global Disability Innovation Hub’s (GDI Hub’s) Innovate Now, are collaborators who recognized these trends and are now leaders at the intersection of the disability and technology communities. Kline established Enable Ventures as the first impact venture fund dedicated to closing the disability wealth gap while achieving competitive, market-rate returns. Chiira leads Innovate Now accelerator, a major force behind building Kenya’s ecosystem for disability technology.
Read more: Forbes