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Workshops lay ground for Assistive Tech Challenge

September 23, 2018

Destination Medical Center officials are hoping a series of workshops will produce ideas to remove a variety of barriers for people with disabilities.

The DMC Economic Development Agency is hosting three design workshops in preparation for the Assistive Tech Challenge, which is a pitch competition presented by DMC’s Discovery Square in collaboration with The Arc Minnesota Southeast Region, and the disABILITY Mayo Clinic Employee Resource Group to facilitate greater independence for individuals with disabilities and the daily challenges they face.

The free workshops will be facilitated by the civic design nonprofit Our City in partnership with the Assistive Tech Challenge.

Participants in these workshops will learn the art of design thinking to address problems and create solutions in just 90 minutes.

Ideas that emerge from the workshops will prepare participants to submit ideas to the Assistive Tech Challenge pitch competition on Nov. 3 at the Assistive Technology Expo.

Two design workshops are scheduled in Rochester on Thursday and one workshop is scheduled in Minneapolis on Friday.

The workshops are:

• Assistive Tech and the Caregiver Experience, from 10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. Thursday at Mayo Civic Center. This workshop, which will focus on how to use design thinking to help caregivers thrive, is embedded within Mayo Clinic’s annual Transform Symposium. Participants will be joined by Transform attendees in exploring design thinking.

• Assistive Tech and Public Infrastructure, from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday in Studio 324 (Fagan Studio), 324 S. Broadway. The workshop will focus on how to use design thinking to help design public spaces that support greater independence for individuals with a disability.

• Assistive Tech and Workforce Readiness and Social Skill Development, from noon to 2 p.m. Friday at the The Bakken Museum, 3537 Zenith Ave. S. in Minneapolis. The workshop will focus on how to use design thinking to help people with a visible or invisible disability interact and cultivate meaningful relationships and how to alleviate barriers to employment.

In each workshop, participants will “sprint” from a real or perceived barrier to developing an idea to address it in just 90 minutes. Each participant will walk away with a new understanding of the design process and how it might spur development of new products or services in these two important areas — plus a real idea of their own to put into action.

More information and required registration for each workshop is available at dmc.mn/events.

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