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HACKABILITY

Hackability is a NPO that aims to identify, invite, inform, interest and involve makers, designers, technicians, FabLabs and people with disabilities, in an on-line and off-line community, to realize products for everyday life using new (or improved) digital fabrication processes.

Hackability is a NPO that aims to identify, invite, inform, interest and involve makers, designers, technicians, FabLabs and people with disabilities, in an on-line and off-line community, to realize products for everyday life using new (or improved) digital fabrication processes.

Very often people with disabilities need too specific solutions that are not addressable by a mass production approach and this requires high degrees of customization in order to fully satisfy their needs. An evidence of this problem is that they often try to build (to hack) autonomously customized solutions for themselves, because existing industrial devices are too expensive, as required in fewer quantities and often paid by those few ones who use them. Moreover the digital fabrication process could be a learning and professional opportunity for makers and designers, creating an active ecosystem through international FabLabs and maker spaces network. For this reason we start in 2015 in Turin (Italy) Hackability.To achieve this goal we use different engaging formats depending on the context. The first is a hackathon (that is a non-competing race), organized in places where the local making community has a sufficient degree of skills for the purpose; the second are workshops, if we need to stimulate the creation of specific skills. Workshops and hackathons go on for at least 3 weeks to allow people with disabilities to participate actively, together with makers, designers etc. maintaining, when possible, for a more effective co-design a gender balance.For all people involved, working together in a project fosters the development of new skills; not only technical but also social skills towards the management of an entire project. Many participants, after this experience, take part in the community, and sometimes they set up a local group, to continue working together. In this way we intend to make the project scaling into different sub-communities. Although the concept of community may seem quite abstract, in our experience is very concrete. For any organized workshop we had a significant increase of people enrolled in the community. All products made by Hackability are available for a non-commercial use, to everyone in Creative Common (CC-by sa nc) at http://hackability.it. Prototypes are the tangible output of our workshops and hackathons. Prototypes are the raw solution built after the co-design process within the workshop: accessible customized and low-cost tools for people with disability. An intangible product but the most important outcome of this process is the social inclusion for people with disabilities. Hackability's events reduce stigma on disability, changing the way people with disability are seen: transforming them from those in need of help, playing a passive role into society, in expert makers and active participants in a sharing knowledge process. The ambition behind our action is to provide social inclusion through a new manufacturing process for people with disabilities. The community is growing nationwide through the organization, in different areas of Italy, thanks to events such as workshops or hackathons that involve local groups. The non-profit organization is intended to finance local events, cure the engagement methodology, train Hackability mentors, help the creation of local groups, disseminate the results using the Hackability digital platform www.hackability.it. The non-profit organization is funded by Companies looking for open innovation, earns money through the licenses for the commercial exploitation of tools, and redistributes part of the profits to the local groups. Local groups need to provide finances for themselves for examples by offering services to the area. Nowadays, the main local groups are two local group in Torino: Hackability Torino and HackabilityPolito; the local communities in Cuneo, Milan and Brescia have been recently founded and they are growing.

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