Makers and people with disabilities develop solutions for everyday challengesBy Reut Group
Charles and Lynn Schusterman Family Foundation
With 1.1 Billion people living with disabilities, there are an astronomical number of neglected challenges hindering independence and inclusion. Unfortunately solutions can be too expensive for users or simply never developed because of small market size.
Israeli impact-entrepreneur and computer programmer, Arnon Zamir recognised that the by harnessing the power of Maker community, engineers, designers, developers and problem solvers could direct their skills and talents to develop needed solutions by connecting them directly with the ‘Need-Knowers’ (those that have a disability or understand a specific challenge).
Arnon co-founded TOM:Tikkum Olam Makers – a Hebrew phrase meaning ‘repairing the world’ – as a movement of communities bringing together ‘Need Knowers’ and Makers to develop open-source solutions for everyday challenges.
TOM’s cornerstone events are locally organized ‘Makeathon’ - a 72-hour event surrounded by cutting edge materials and tools, locally organized, where teams of technologists, designers, therapists, and people with disabilities address challenges of people living with disabilities, their family members, and healthcare professionals, and will try to come up with working prototype solutions.
But the magic of TOM transcends the in-person collaboration. When a solution is created at 72-hour ‘Makeathon’ or a weekly ‘Developer Group’, the ‘Need-Knower’ takes the product home and the designs are uploaded to the Open Makers Market (OMM) ensuring that anyone around the world can adapt the solution for their needs - for free.
Projects designed by the TOM Community include designing a wheelchair add-on allowing a three-year-old with Rhett Syndrome traverse snow, an elegant mouth-held grasper for a young woman born without arms, and adaption of communication devices for children with Angelman Syndrome. (These solutions can be found at projects.tomglobal.org.)
TOM:Tikkun Olam Makers is a strategic initiative of the Reut Group (reutgroup.org), a Tel Aviv-based strategy group founded in partnership with the ROI Community. As of December 2016, 14 TOM Communities have organized a total of 16 local Makeathons worldwide, with 20 TOM Communities expected to launch in the next 12 months around the world. The team’s aim is ambitious – they plan to help 250 million people in the next 10 years. Interested in launching a TOM Community in your town? Visit www.tomglobal.org
Image courtesy of TOM
Last updated: 03rd of August, 2016