Collaborative Economy Drives Increased Mobility for People with Disability
15 August 2017 at 8:11 am
A new online platform hopes to drive better lives for people with disability and increased sustainability for disability organisations by supporting the sharing of specially modified vehicles that would otherwise be lying idle.
The initiative, Connecting Up to Shared Assets, which is set to be piloted in South Australia by not-for-profit tech company Connecting Up, would enable companies, and individuals, to rent out their transport assets directly to disability service providers and primary caregivers.
Those behind the idea hope the shared portal will give the disability sector more affordable options and improve service delivery outcomes for disability organisations looking to adapt to meet the pressures of the NDIS.
Connecting Up CEO Anne Gawen said the program could provide better quality of life for people living with a disability, and could even provide extra income for individuals with modified vehicles, as well as allowing disability service providers to expand their services.
“This could be a life changing service for hundreds of thousands of Australians facing significant restrictions on their mobility because of a lack of suitable transport,” Gawen said.
“It will also be a game changer for disability service providers by allowing them to open up new services, share vehicles and expand their customer bases.”
The initiative was one of 10 finalists in YourSAy’s Share initiative, which seeks to create value or solve a social problem by making better use of idle or wasted resources.
Finalists were announced in June, and the program is now in the “idea incubation” period.
Connecting Up, which will co-design, develop and market the new platform, is calling on companies and individuals in Australia to contribute ideas for the platform’s success by signing up at the Connecting Up website.
Contributors will have the opportunity to co-design and develop the platform itself, or to contribute idle or occasionally idle modified vehicles.
The Adelaide pilot has been designed as the forerunner to a nationwide program that will be supported and driven by transport companies, disability service providers, technology developers, and specialist rental firms across Australia.
Gawen said it promised to be a game changer for hundreds of thousands of Australians.
“Having easy and affordable access to a modified vehicle is important not just for people with disabilities to get to appointments, but also for them to remain active and connected with their communities,” she said.
“And best of all, it will use resources that are currently lying idle.”