Tech For Disability Inclusive Conversation – 5 April 2022
There are many digital solutions for specific conditions or areas of disability that cover specific scenarios like job interviews.
But wel-co.me is overarching enough in its equity, empowerment, and choice principles. It is a pan-disability tool in breadth and works in virtually any public space or venue in its reach. It uses privacy-centred tools to present a person’s needs to a venue before they arrive while educating customer service staff at the same time and building a valuable dataset for better knowledge of accessibility.
Meet Gavin Neate from wel-co.me.
We talked about resuming our Inclusive Conversations and how this is a resumption after a while off the back of TLA’s D&Iversity event last week in which we had a nice presence in the report with a feature on Marie-Clare’s submission and Marc Goblot onstage speaking at the event. We had a lot of new people and welcomed them and explained about our group as a part of Tech London Advocates and that we aim to foster an exchange of information from contributions and events that we can share through our platform.
Russ Shaw was on the call and he came on to talk about TLA and Global Tech Advocates and how it has reached way beyond London. He mentioned the work they’re doing to support Ukraine as there is a chapter there.
We introduced Gavin Neate and his startup Welco-me. He talked about his beginnings as a guide dog trainer then seeing a gap when waiting to cross the road and wondering if an app could help control the crosswalk lights instead of pushing a button. That was the first app to control such a crosswalk and led to another to open a disability door with an app instead of a button and that also became a first with simple ideas.
Along the way, he pondered a way to share a profile of needs in advance to a public space to help book support and that became Welco-me with around 146 venues in the UK now registered especially leisure centres. It was hard graft, there are no shortcuts and no big money involved as you see in other startups.