European Commission Awards Outstanding Achievements in 'Design for All' and 'Assistive Technology'

The results of the first "Design for All and Assistive Technology Awards" have been presented. The jury announced the winners of the competition organized by the European Commission on November 12 within the framework of the REHACARE trade fair in Düsseldorf.


"We had many interesting, high-quality submissions," summarizes Professor Dr. Peter Zec, member of the expert jury and President of the Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen. "I do hope that these awards will invigorate and further motivate the companies and students who are committed to working in this sector. And for the next time, we hope for greater European participation, especially from the countries that are not yet quite as committed in this field."

Designers, design organizations, engineers, rehabilitation organizations, blue chip companies and students from all European nations sent more than 200 submissions. The awards were presented in six categories: Daily Living, Mobility and Transportation, Communication and Information, Employment and Professional Life, Culture, Leisure and Sports as well as Life-long Learning. There are two additional award categories called "Jury's New Territory Awards". They honor students and experts in the sectors "Design for All" and "Assistive Technology".



The Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen is actively committed to supporting the competition. Among others, Professor Dr. Peter Zec, who is the President of the Design Zentrum and President Designate of the ICSID, was a member of the expert jury, which consisted of members of the European Disability Forum, experts from the "Design for All and Assistive Technology" sector and members of the European Commission.

You can find more information about the "Design for All and Assistive Technology Awards" at www.dfa-at-awards.org



Winners of the Design for All Award

The relatively new design concept "Design for All" is understood as the design of everyday products and services that are accessible for as many users as possible, regardless of their ability. Classic examples of the "Design for All" principle are the electric can opener, power steering and subtitles for TV programs.



Communication and Information:

Home emergency call phone of the DFG Deutsche Fernsprecher GmbH, Marburg, Germany


Mobility and Transportation:

Conversion kit "Profondo", Pfautec GmbH, Quakenbrück, Germany

Profondo enables the conversion of a bicycle into a tricycle and vice versa.


Employment and Professional Life:

Web compliance manager "imergo", Fraunhofer Institut für Angewandte Informationstechnik, Sankt Augustin, Germany


Daily Living:

"Cairlift", by Indes Medical Design, Enschede, the Netherlands


Culture, Leisure and Sports:

"Tojo Sport Sled", Tojo Sport, Finland


New Territory Award for Professionals:

"Easy Reach Shelves", Tech Design Oy, Finland


New Territory Award for Students:

"Audible" (user-friendly MP3-player for audio books), Carin Larsson, Umea Institute of Design, Sweden


Winners Assistive Technology Award

Any product, tool, system, technical system or technology-based service that is produced or available and can be used to preserve, improve or further develop the functional abilities of disabled persons is considered "Assistive Technology".


Integrated Solutions Award:

Automatic scanning and browsing through books, Bergische Universität Wuppertal, Germany


Communication and Information:

Senior's wireless phone "Butler", Binom Produkt-Design, Aachen, Germany


Mobility and Transportation:

Electric wheelchair Typhoon, Invacare Deutschland, Bad Oeynhausen, Germany


Lifelong Learning:

Livereader, Livereader GmbH, Hoppstädten-Weiersbach, Germany


Daily Living:

"Listening to the Clothes", Polytechnical University, Milan, Italy

A chip that stores and communicates clothing characteristics like color, size or care instructions through voice technology.


Culture, Leisure and Sports:

Sports and fun wheelchair "Hippocampe", Vipamat, Ploemeur, France


New Territory Award:

Electronic walking and mobility aid Parkwalker for patients suffering from Parkinson disease, Parkaid srl, Italy