MABLE team accepted into National Science Foundation Convergence Accelerator cohort, hosting first disability accessibility workshop

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The Mapping for Accessible Built Environments (MABLE) team is hosting a disability accessibility webinar on January 27 from 2 - 3 p.m. EST upon acceptance into the 2022 Cohort, Phase 1 of the Convergence Accelerator Program by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

NSF Convergence Accelerator Track H

NSF Convergence Accelerator Track H

“We only know what we know, and we look forward to learning from the communities and industry experts so we can create solutions that are truly impactful, intentional, and innovative for all,” said Kang.

The Mapping for Accessible Built Environments (MABLE) team is hosting a disability accessibility webinar on January 27 from 2 - 3 p.m. EST upon acceptance into the 2022 Cohort,Phase 1 of the Convergence Accelerator Program by the National Science Foundation (NSF). MABLE will gain participant insights on their project vision aimed at improving accessibility in both digital and built environments for persons with disabilities to improve quality of life and employability of persons with disabilities long-term.

The NSF Convergence Accelerator is a unique program built upon basic research and discovery to accelerate solutions toward societal impact. Launched in 2019, the program funds teams to solve societal challenges through convergence research and innovation. To enhance its impact, the Accelerator places teams together in cohorts to synergize their work through facilitated collaboration, competition, and education.

In December 2022, the Accelerator awarded $35 million to 48 multidisciplinary teams to build a proof of concept for their solutions. The 2022 cohort is the fourth cohort and focuses on converging innovative ideas, approaches, and technologies in topics such as Enhancing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities, Sustainable Materials for Global Challenges, and Food & Nutrition Security.

MABLE’s project within the NSF Convergence Accelerator Track H: Towards a Community-Driven Framework for the Creation and Impact Analysis of Digital Accessibility Maps with Persons with Disabilities, is one of the three tracks aimed at enhancing opportunities for people with disabilities.

The MABLE team consists of diverse interdisciplinary experts committed to improving quality of life and enhancing opportunities in the workplace for for persons with disabilities. The core team members include Professor at Wichita State University, Vinod Namboodiri, Associate Professor at Wichita State University, Nils Hakansson, Research Professor at Wichita State University, Ted Conway, Associate Professor at Georgia Tech, Patricio A. Vela, Professor at Kansas State University, Siny Joseph, and Founder & CEO of InnovatorsBox, Monica H. Kang.

“We’re excited about this project,” said Namboodiri, who is the Principal Investigator of MABLE. “Attending conferences, meetings, and events is a key component of one’s professional career growth. Yet many persons with disabilities cannot access these spaces due to inaccessible settings at venues. No matter how much the host tries to make it accessible, the lack of an interactive, responsive map makes it hard for persons with disabilities to engage and participate in events. We want to change this narrative and give persons with disabilities ownership of how they can visit any public space and attend any event.”

As part of Track H, The MABLE team is one of the teams accepted to join Track H: Enhancing Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and will participate in weekly training and innovation and product development workshops from January to November 2023.

“We only know what we know, and we look forward to learning from the communities and industry experts so we can create solutions that are truly impactful, intentional, and innovative for all,” said Kang.

The MABLE Introduction Webinar on January 27th at 2:00 pm EST is part of the three community workshops that the team will host in 2023 to engage with communities and leaders invested in creating accessible solutions and environments for persons with disabilities.

Sign up for the webinar: bit.ly/mableintro. For any questions and media inquiries, please reach out to Monica H. Kang at monica@innovatorsbox.com.

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Monica H. Kang
@InnovatorsBox
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