CO-HACK 2017

In March, Disabled People’s Association (DPA) took part in CO-HACK 2017, the first ever community service themed hackathon organised by Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). A hackathon is a competition where, in a very short time span, participants are challenged to produce prototypes that can address problems posed by the organisers. CO-HACK 2017 focussed on persons with wisabilities, seeking to improve their accessibility to transportation, information, education and also their leisure life. This event brought together a total of 32 like-minded individuals with diverse skill sets and 7 teams were formed. With a time constraint of 48 hours, the teams rapidly worked through intensive prototyping, finally producing interesting, proof-of-concept prototypes that can potentially help make Singapore a more inclusive society.

DPA Consultant, Asha Karen, assisted the process by conducting Disability Awareness Talks* and facilitating discussion and feedback. DPA Executive Director, Dr Marissa Medjeral-Mills, sat on the judging panel.

DPA wanted to share with you some of the ideas and prototypes that the students came up with. With a bit of luck these ideas will go into further development and be available to the community of persons with disabilities and older persons in Singapore.



Team StepWise:

Having consulted people who use walking sticks, this team realised that descending the stairs is an intimidating challenge due to the need to stretch forward excessively. Stepwise is a walking stick that extends or retracts with the press of a button and was designed with the intention of enabling persons with a mobility disability to descend stairs in a less risky way.

For more info, email




Team Vibeats:

Vibeats is a fun game designed for the visually impaired with inspiration from Jubeat. The game relies on their reaction to catch and feel the beats from the vibrating buttons and could be used to train their reaction time. For more info, email



Team iRead:

iRead is an assistive technology wearable which aims to empower amputees & people born with only one arm by providing them the ease to be able to hold and read a book anywhere, especially where there is no surface for them to place the book on. For more info, email




Team Telolet:

Without the aid of bystanders, the simple task of flagging a bus becomes an arduous task for the visually impaired. Telolet is a system designed to be installed at bus stops to empower people with visual impairment to flag their buses independently. This would make bus transport more inclusive.

For more info, email



Team WTS:

WTS – The Wheelchair Dampening System is a solution borne out of the need to control the speed of a mechanical wheelchair’s descent down a slope. It is a modular attachment that can be fitted to any wheelchair and works by allowing users to set the speed of rotation of the wheelchair wheels via use of either an electrical Dynamo or mechanical gears. It eases the physical burden on wheelchair users such that they need not rely on physical strength to slow the rotation of the wheels. Such innovations would make life easier for wheelchair users and improve their accessibility and safety.

For more info, email


*Disability Awareness Talks (DATS): DPA runs this talk series, the aim of which is to spread awareness about disability and teach participants how to be inclusive in their language and behaviour. DATS is also relevant for organisations looking to make their policies and programmes more inclusive. DATS covers a broad range of topics from understanding the different types of disabilities to how to make your existing services more accessible to persons with disabilities. DATS is run by an experienced trainer either at DPA’s office or at the organisation’s office. For more information, please contact us at 67911134.


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