UCL Computer Science


GDI Hub becomes the world's first WHO Collaborating Centre on Assistive Technology

29 April 2021

Led by GDI Hub’s Academic Director, Professor Cathy Holloway (UCL Computer Science), the WHO Collaborating Centre will focus on driving global disability innovation to work towards a fairer world through access to assistive and accessible technology.

Four young people sitting on the floor, talking outside, next to a folded wheelchair.

GDI Hub was selected because of its global expertise in AT and its track record of supporting four million people with disabilities in 35 countries over the last two years to access AT.

GDI Hub grew out of the bold approach to disability inclusion taken during the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. It was launched to build on this legacy and empower local communities through innovative design and engineering, working with business partners based in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park including UAL's London College of Fashion and Loughborough University London.

GDI Hub now delivers programmes worldwide with a portfolio of £50m as well as a world leading Disability, Design and Innovation Master’s programme at UCL East, based in the Olympic Park. It is on track to meet its goal of supporting 15 million people to access AT by 2024.

Professor Holloway said: 

“We are delighted to be the WHO's first Assistive Technology Collaboration Centre. Never has there been a more important time to address the needs of disabled and older people, as globally we look to build back fairer from the COVID-19 pandemic.  “Our evidence-led approach founded in research and academic excellence enables GDI Hub to explore global challenges from a new perspective. Our UK Aid funded AT2030 programme has already made progress to improve access to life-changing AT for all. Building on this knowledge, alongside the expertise of the WHO, there is a significant opportunity to shift global markers and supply systems, improving equitable access to health products through global market shaping.”

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