As part of our 10 year anniversary celebrations, we decided to introduce an annual ‘Charity of the Year’ to support. As a team we deliberated on a number of fantastic causes and collectively agreed that our first chosen charity would be Designability.
Over the past few months we have been providing Designability with in-kind digital support to help them improve their online presence, creating an online fundraising campaign and helping out with any projects they may be working on.
Best Charities to Work For 2020
Recently Designability has, very deservedly, been awarded second place in the inaugural ‘Best Charities to Work For 2020’ list.
The rankings were awarded by Third Sector – the UK’s leading publication for the charity and voluntary sector – and Best Companies Group, an independent workplace excellence research firm.
In honour of this great news, we thought we’d shine a spotlight on the incredible things this charity does.
All about Designability
Designability is a very special national charity based (and founded) in Bath. Transforming the lives of disabled people and those living with a long-term health condition, Designability are a team of engineers and designers with a passion for creating life-changing assistive technologies. They carry out original research and create products that help people who are facing challenges every day, from babies through to people living with dementia.
From digital task prompters and user-friendly interfaces for driverless cars, to special crayons and the well-known ‘Wizzybug’ powered wheelchair, Designability have created many incredible and innovative life-changing products.
Their expertise is in user-centred design, creating products with and for disabled people to improve and enrich their lives.
Creating great looking, easy-to-use products that go beyond basic functionality, Designability has transformed over 300,000 lives to date.
While it may be easy to confuse their cause with a design agency, everything they do is not-for-profit. Every penny received is put back into developing even more useful products for people that could benefit.
User-friendly products transforming lives
Each product they’ve created has a specific role to play in a person’s life. Whether it is allowing disabled children under five years old to gain the freedom of movement using a powered wheelchair, or simply helping an older person with dementia to feel less disorientated by easily finding out the time of day. Here are just a few examples of the products they’ve created:
This simple Day Clock was designed specifically for people who are finding it difficult to know what time of day it is. The design has gone on to benefit the lives of over 18,000 people worldwide.
Designability built this especially for young children with restricted growth, (sometimes referred to as dwarfism) after hearing lots of feedback from parents who were unable to find toys that fit their children’s smaller stature.
This simple ruler gives people the ability to carry out tasks with a ruler using only one hand.
An ideal solution for people with memory problems, poor coordination or visual impairment to operate a radio with ease.
They also have a number of inspiring research projects in place to further support people living with disabilities, including:
- Developing a wheelchair baby carrier to enable parents to push their baby independently
- Exploring how augmented reality could help people with dementia to carry out tasks
- Developing self-driving cars to give people the opportunity to travel independently
- Exploring how a Wizzybug powered wheelchair can support play
And many more!
Supporting a local charity
As one of the charity’s Corporate Partners, our team are volunteering their time and tech skills to help develop these ideas and products, as well as assisting them with events and fundraising.
Designability do not receive any statutory funding, so all of their incredible work relies solely on voluntary donations. If you’d like to support this amazing charity or find out more about what they do, head over to their website.
With the current global pandemic and thousands of fundraising events having to be cancelled, charities need more support than ever. Whilst Designability has been able to continue the design and development work they still need your help to continue to turn their designs into real products for disabled people. They are currently inviting people to take part in The 2.6 Challenge which was launched a nationwide mass participation event on 26th April.
They’re asking you to take part in an activity of your choice based around the numbers 2.6 or 26 to raise much needed donations. Find out more about how to get involved here.