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mobility and assistive technology Disrupting tradition Melanie Tran, 22, is a User Experience (UX) Designer and a passionate social entrepreneur. She writes for Link on why technology can be a catalyst for change. T echnology has the power to change lives. Simply because it has the ability to disrupt the traditional method of how things are done in the disability sector and redefine social norms – and we are currently placed in the perfect While technology does not completely remove stigma around disability, I see it as a catalyst for change. position to bring this vision to life. As a UX Designer working in the and innovation is empathy. It’s about understanding the challenges we face and leveraging that as a drive for innovation. It’s about creating opportunities for ourselves and others. But most importantly, it’s about using technology to redefine social norms. for people with disability, it gives us Traditionally, people with disability disability and technology sectors, my the opportunity to create, innovate have not often been given the role is to problem solve through the and disrupt. We can all agree that the opportunity to be decision makers in creative lens. As I bring together the rollout of the NDIS has not been the their own lives, simply because the worlds of design and social impact, it smoothest journey, but it is undeniable society we exist in was built to believe becomes clear that technology plays that the NDIS has disrupted the in stereotypes. Ability would always a critical role in shaping the future disability sector, and as a result, has be challenged, and choice and control for people with disability. It creates caused a ripple effect to enable didn’t exist. While technology does an opportunity for us to become many ground-breaking solutions to not completely remove stigma around change makers and innovators. But successfully bring choice and control disability, I see it as a catalyst for more importantly, it teaches us to to the hands of people with disability. change. A change of attitude; where acknowledge and embrace all that Hireup, where I work, is an online it helps us understand that without platform for people with disability access and inclusion, we will never to find, hire and manage their own be able to see a world of beauty, Scheme (NDIS) has been described as support workers. To me, this is a potential, strength and opportunity in, one of the biggest social reforms in prime example of how technology and for, others. Australia since Medicare, and with this can be harnessed to enable choice serving as the foundation of inclusion and control. The one thing I see that makes us unique. The National Disability Insurance 42 sits between technology, design mobility and assistive technology www.facebook.com/ melanietran2/ linkonline.com.au