This year we were lucky enough to have the incredible mother, Paralympian and speaker kelly Cartwright OAM join us as the host of our #RA21 Demo Day! ?
As part of the celebrations, we hosted a segment called ‘Tech Talks with Kelly’ where she shared her experiences with assistive technology and accessibility throughout her life, you can check it out below!
A time-coded transcript of this video is available for download and the script is also available below.
1. What role does assistive technology play in your life?
Assistive technology is literally my life. I get out of bed, put my leg on, don’t take my leg off until I get back into bed later on. So without it, I wouldn’t be able to walk. I wouldn’t be able to look after my children. I wouldn’t be able to keep fit, and I would definitely have not have been at the Paralympic Games.
2. As a mother how do you like to teach young children about inclusion?
When kids ask questions, I like to just be honest with them. I tell them what happened. I tell them that my leg was sick and that the doctors had to take my real leg off but fitted me with a cool robot leg and that people are born differently. Some don’t have arms, some don’t have legs. But we all find ways and manage ways to do the things that you can do.
3. Can you describe a common accessibility barrier that you experience?
Yeah, as a disabled person, I think weekly I’m faced with different accessibility barriers but I manage to get around them somehow. As a young girl who loves shopping, who likes going to the shops and trying on clothes, I’ve found that there is a massive problem with change rooms. Some aren’t big enough for wheelchairs, a lot don’t have seats for me to sit on to try on shoes or pants. So it really discourages me to go to those shops.
So I think we need to think about disabled people as a whole who want to contribute to society just as much as everybody else are struggling to because of these accessible barriers.
4. If there was one wish you could have about inclusion, what would it be?
My biggest wish for inclusion would be starting conversations with kids in primary school or even before, because to have those conversations about people being different in this world, about disability, I feel like we won’t have to have those conversations later on in life and my children will grow up in a more inclusive and acceptable world.
5. What advice would you give to our Remarkable entrepreneurs?
My advice for entrepreneurs building technology for people with disability would be to include people with disabilities in the process, to have them there every step of the way. And to tell you what they really need.