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Global Accessibility Awareness Day: Embedding Accessibility in Tech | by Ed Lovelock | Starship Technologies | May, 2023

Global Accessibility Awareness Day: Embedding Accessibility in Tech | by Ed Lovelock | Starship Technologies | May, 2023

As the world’s leading autonomous robot delivery provider, one of our main missions is to make life easier and more convenient for people.

We believe passionately in the power of technology and innovation to positively impact the lives of people and communities, but we also know that too often accessibility and the needs of people with disabilities can be overlooked when technology is under development.

We are leading the way in a whole new industry, so we recognize that we may not get it right the first time. But at Starship, accessibility — and a true two-way commitment to accessibility needs — is built into what we do, and we’re committed to leveraging each of our learnings along the way.

For several years, we have been investing time and resources in improving our technology with accessibility in mind, for example by integrating autonomous recognition of mobility devices and wheelchairs into the behavior of robots.

We understand why it’s important that our robots can be heard as they move along sidewalks and that our grocery compartment is at an accessible height for the majority of wheelchair users (and that items are wrapped to facilitate handling). We’ve worked with a leading charity for people with sight loss to make sure guide dogs and our robots can happily share a path. And we’ve incorporated feedback from customers with disabilities, residents and charities into our engineering and design processes so that with every journey and every conversation, we get better at what we do.

But there is more to do.

That’s why today, on World Accessibility Awareness Day, we’re proudly launching the Spacecraft Accessibility Advisory Group.

We are delighted to welcome representatives from the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB), the University of Leeds and health and wellbeing charity Leonard Cheshire to our panel to help bring lived experience and professional essential to the conversations within the organization.

This is the start, not the end, and we are keen to ensure that we have the experience, representation and perspectives of different backgrounds and people with different disabilities and abilities. Based on the current composition of the panel, we would be particularly keen to hear more directly from people in our areas of operation who use a mobility device or wheelchair and/or who are neurodiverse. Please get in touch with

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