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DR UK invites Kate Green to visit FabLab

24 October 2014

On Friday October 24th Philip Connolly was joined by Kate Green MP and shadow minister for disabled people on a tour of the digital fabrication laboratory in Manchester.

Kate Green MP

Richard Currie one of the  trustees of Breakthrough UK also joined the visit and we were shown by Dr Eddie Kirkby and Haydn Insley the lab’s laser cutters and 3D printers amongst other equipment used to create prototypes for new products.

The Manchester fab lab has a community outreach programme that includes disabled people - “fability.” One of the disabled users had designed and printed an adaptation to a musical instrument, a fabulous example of self expression but clearly only a hint of what’s possible.

Disability Rights UK are currently recruiting disabled people to a reference group to oversee their own mobile digital fabrication laboratory that will operate in Salford and maintain close links to Manchester’s fab lab.

Following the visit a discussion was held with Kate Green that covered a wide range of issues of great concern to disabled people including the Disabled Student Allowance (DSA) and the Work Capability Assessment (WCA). Disability Rights UK will be following up the interest expressed with Liam Byrne, in a debate in parliament when the or if the DSA regulations are laid to give effect to the BIS policy proposals of April 7th as amended in Greg Clarke’s statement of September 12th.

Background

Disability Rights UK, the University of Salford (@fablabmcr), and the University of Dundee are working together to explore the possibilities of digital fabrication. The project is titled 'In the Making', and will involve disabled people in developing commercial, social and creative benefits from new digital fabrication technology.

For more information on our FabLab project go to http://disabilityrightsuk.org/news/2014/august/our-new-making-project

FabLab