"We believe that accessibility and inclusion are human rights.
By amplifying the lived experience of people with disabilities and creating programs that support innovation, we will eliminate friction points for entrepreneurs and accelerate product innovation for the disability community," Sandy Lacey, executive director of innovation at the Perkins School for the Blind, says in a press release about the school's new Howe Innovation Center.
The center, which opened last week in Boston, aims to "unlock the power of the entrepreneurial and disability communities to create purpose-built solutions for a more accessible world," per the press release.
Lacey says the center will connect entrepreneurs, technology companies, consumer products companies, and others "engaged in the space" to "discover and design solutions for the most pressing accessibility problems in employment, education, and daily living."
The center has already created a database of more than 750 technology companies worldwide to track products under development, identify where there is the most activity, and discover what needs are not being addressed by current projects, per the press release.
Perkins is the worldwide leader in education for children and young adults with multiple, complex disabilities and visual impairments.
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Philanthropic organizations and housing associations could scale their impact and further their social missions by supporting social innovation of other individuals and groups.