UCL East


Global Disability Innovation Hub

At Global Disability Innovation (GDI) Hub, we want to change the way the world thinks about disability through co-design, collaboration, and innovation.

The GDI Hub was born out of the legacy of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, held a stone’s throw from the Hub’s future home at UCL East.

It brings together partners with world-leading specialisms in disability: UCL; Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park; UAL: London College of Fashion; Loughborough University London; Leonard Cheshire; V&A; Sadler’s Wells; and The Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design.  

Research will focus on themes of inclusive design, assistive technologies, participation and active citizenship, human-computer interaction for community wellbeing, and disability arts, sports and inclusive culture.

A 'live lab' will incubate new ideas, such as creating a new generation of advanced technologies, ranging from Artificial Intelligence-powered navigation aids for visually impaired people to using mobile communication to strengthen communities. 

Key information

UCL Faculty: Engineering, UCL Computer Science Department
Academic lead: Dr Catherine Holloway
Building: Pool Street West (until opening: at Here East)
Focus area: Disability; engineering; assistive technology; social development
Programmes: MSc Disability, Design and Innovation
Website: www.disabilityinnovation.com/

The new MSc Disability, Design and Innovation, launched in September 2019, brings together UCL, Loughborough University London and London College of Fashion, providing students with unique multidisciplinary insights and blending engineering with global policy and societal contexts of disability. 

GDI Hub leads AT2030, a £20m funding from UK aid, to deliver affordable, life-changing assistive technology to disabled people globally. It is also a forming member of the new global partnership on assistive technology – ATscale. 

GDI Hub is leading the disability innovation movement. Within the next five years, GDI Hub aims to become the world-leading centre of disability innovation, attracting the best and most committed minds to the cause.

Our ambition is bold, and necessary. Through research collaborations, technological innovations, and policy interactions, we want to create a movement to accelerate disability innovation to secure a fairer world for disabled people.” – Dr Catherine Holloway, Academic Director, Global Disability Innovation Hub