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Play mat for children with ASD wins The Assistive Technology Design Prize 2017

Lucy Fidgett, winner of Designability Assistive Technology Design Prize 2017

An industrial design graduate from Loughborough University has won the Designability Assistive Technology Design Prize 2017.

The competition, co-hosted by the Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) and Designability, aimed to provide a springboard for the development of a product idea in the area of assistive technology. Students and graduates were invited to enter the competition earlier this summer.

Following an initial shortlisting by a judging panel of staff from DLF and Designability, as well representatives from industry and assistive technology companies, a series of interviews took place in July.

Lucy Fidgett’s ‘Bloom’ idea was selected as the idea with the strongest potential.

Bloom is an interactive play mat which encourages social play between a child who has an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their parent. The play mat lights up and vibrates in respond to touch, providing a sensory environment for child and parent to explore together.

As the winner, Fidgett has been awarded funding from DLF to support the development of her idea and to help cover any associated expenses.

She will be working alongside Designability this summer with support from their design and engineering team who have experience of bringing assistive technology products to the market.

Ed Mylles, DLF’s Interim Director said: “DLF has a long history of working with manufacturers and suppliers and we are delighted to be in involved at this stage, supporting Lucy’s product development.

DLF is committed to helping people to find the right bit of equipment whenever they may need it, but quite often people tell us that there isn’t the solution for their needs on the market. We value the support of organisations like Designability who can help mentor students on how to bring innovative ideas to the market.”

Notes to editors

Disabled Living Foundation (DLF) is a national charity that has been providing expert and impartial advice on independent living for nearly 50 years. Its mission is to help people live independently at home, with dignity.

DLF’s website, Living Made Easy, helps around two million people a year, by providing a comprehensive database of over 10,000 daily living products from 1,000 national suppliers. Living Made Easy is used predominately by disabled and older people, or their relatives and friends, who are looking for equipment to make everyday tasks easier.

Our Helpline offers free, impartial advice about mobility products or other types of daily living equipment, information on where you can buy or hire items or details of local organisations that can help you. The lines are open 10am-4pm, Monday to Friday. 0300 999 0004.

DLF is part of Shaw Trust.

Website: livingmadeeasy.org.uk

For more information please contact Amanda Shiel, Knowledge Manager
Email: amanda.shiel@dlf.org.uk
Tel: 020 7289 6111 ext 218

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