The Government of New South Wales (NSW) in a bid to make their cities smarter and more inclusive launched a Smart Cities and Accessibility Challenge. It was coordinated with the Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI) and Transport for NSW (TfNSW).
The Challenge to innovate for Inclusion
The Challenge focused on the following critical issues affecting people with disabilities when it comes to their access to transport services:
TfNSW and DFSI provided guiding principles to enable businesses, innovators and enterprises to create innovative ideas for smart cities and improve accessibility in communities. Such as:
The TfNSW Open Data Hub provided the following relevant and significant datasets necessary to improve accessibility and inclusion of people with disabilities. Innovators could integrate the datasets to deliver the best possible solution for NSW citizens:
Among the seven finalists, four were chosen as winners and received funding to launch their projects with the following innovative solutions:
These innovations are the future of transport. Taking the ideas and achieving the outcomes is a challenge initself and delivering the solution takes time. Any dedicated program needs momentum and focus.
Innovation is important. And we can always do better to deliver results.Data and information may show that there is still a need to bridge the gap. Barriers prevent inclusion for people with disabilities in employment, recreation and better life in their community. We have to validate the solution and innovation that works beyond expectations. We are on the right track. Government institutions and technology businesses and relevant organisations work together consistently.
Technology businesses and Government work hand in hand to bring flexible, affordable and scalable solutions for people in the community. Help each other and understanding the operating procedures.We can create better options to make a real impact because people with disabilities matter.
The report also shows barriers experienced by people with disability in accessing and using health care services:
We can do better ways to bring in innovation effectively and successfully to lessen inaccessibility issues.
We need to limit these barriers faced by people with disabilities during independent travel and better access to transport services and amenities. They may struggle using health care services but we can elevate the process with accessibility. Pre-journey planning information is essential. Travelling with a wheelchair requires planning, information on accessible bay area, public amenities and parking accessibilities.
Uncertainty leads to disengagement, but there are action plans and innovative ideas to solve critical issues for accessibility:
These are what we are trying to do as an IT consulting company.