In 2018, the City of Melbourne ran an open innovation competition that aimed to make cities more accessible for people with a disability. The competition asked for submissions from innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses and the community.
We worked closely with the City of Melbourne’s Disability Advisory Committee to establish opportunity areas that:
- enhanced the provision of information to help people with a disability participate in all aspects of life within a city
- make sure the people and places of Melbourne better addressed the access needs of people with a disability.
Participants were encouraged to incorporate data-driven and technology-enabled approaches into their submissions that addressed issues such as accessible parking, footpath navigation and wayfinding.
The top five solutions pitched at an event during Melbourne Knowledge Week in May 2018, and the winning entries received prizes and ongoing support to test and bring the solutions to life in Melbourne.
Find out more about the 2018 City Accessibility finalists, and their awards, visit Open Innovation Competition on Accessibility.
Created by Kyle Mantesso and Hong Yew – A pairing of the City of Melbourne's Open Data with smart assistants such as Siri, Google Assist and Amazon's Alexa to provide up-to-date information via voice, text and screen readers. Scroll down to see Melba being taken for a test drive.
Created by Samantha Wong and Luannie Dang – A turn-by-turn navigation system to assist the blind or vision impaired to navigate unfamiliar places including permit events, construction sites, tactile ground surfaces and locations with heavy pedestrian traffic.
Created by Michelle Khuu and her team – A rating system which provides guidelines for the food and beverage industry, showcasing a business's accessibility rating for four disability groups: mobility, auditory, visual and cognitive.
Walk This Way
Created by Daniel Debono and Katelyn Hatton – The concept of 'Work' and 'Leisure' lanes with tactile markers to help organise pedestrians in the city to help guide them through busy areas.
Audio Access Map
Created by VicDeaf – An accessible, mobile and interactive map of venues throughout the City of Melbourne featuring a hearing augmentation system.
Winner of 2018: Melba (Melbourne's Smart Assistant)
Melba is a uniquely Melbournian smart assistant that delivers a simple, stress free and convenient way of accessing information to assist people with disabilities to participate in all aspects of life within a city. Melba can help you find a disabled car spot on Collins Street, find out if Bourke Street Mall is busy, tell you if the NGV is wheelchair accessible and even what AFL team she barracks for.