Simply Open Awards offers £25,000 for disabled solutions

By Christine Hemphill | 16th May 2022

Text graphic - Simply Open Awards launching 19th May 2022. With sponsor logos at the bottom and a url to the website.

Open Inclusion, the global innovation and design group, are proud to launch the Simply Open Awards on Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), 19th May 2022, in partnership with Enable India – a disability-led organization. 

The Simply Open Awards are a competition offering individuals with any disability or other specific access needs, (such as an assistant, friend, colleague, teacher or family member) to demonstrate a solution* they have created to better manage access challenges in a way that enhances independence, capability or joy. This can be something new or adapting an existing product or solution to fit that person’s requirements.  Applicants can submit to one of five categories to which people can apply, with £3,850 of awards per category, or £25,000 in total.

Applicants are asked to submit up to a 2-minute video showing their solution, and how it reduces experiences of exclusion or improves access and independence.

For full details, prize structure and how to enter the Simply Open Awards, please visit: www.simplyopen.io/awards

Christine Hemphill, Open Inclusion Managing Director said: 

“Open Inclusion is delighted to launch the Simply Open Awards to help people with disabilities share and find solutions that remove barriers in a range of areas in our lives.  We have the opportunity to find and celebrate creative ingenuity!  With global disability-inclusive brands as sponsors, we can accelerate the awareness of where difficulties arise in people’s lives.” 

Darren Rowan, Accessibility Lead at Eli Lilly said “Lilly is excited to be the global sponsor for the Daily Living and Well Being category of the inaugural Simply Open awards. As we continue to develop innovative medicines and healthcare solutions for millions of patients worldwide, the well being of our employees remains a company priority. A core element of our global accessibility strategy is to better understand the barriers faced by people with disabilities, and we believe these awards will spotlight the solutions people with disabilities create to remove barriers in their daily lives.”

Sarah Hore-Lacy, Board Account Director at AMV BBDO said At AMV, we believe creativity is one of the greatest tools we can use to break barriers and drive positive impact. That’s why we’re so excited to be the global sponsors for the Communications Category at the Simply Open Awards. We can’t wait to read the submissions.”

The five key categories for applicants to submit videos are:

  • Daily living and wellbeing
  • Employment and Advocacy
  • Education
  • Getting out and about
  • Communications

Applications & Eligibility

Applicants must have a disability or have another specific access need. 

Applications will open on Thursday 19 May 2022, and closes at 23:59 on Friday 2 September 2022.  Applicants must be residents in the: 

  • United Kingdom and Ireland
  • United States and Canada
  • Australia and New Zealand

Applicants can also be an assistant (carer), friend, colleague, teacher or family member of someone with a disability or specific access need.

The awards are not eligible for:

  • Entrepreneurs who have created solutions that they plan to commercialise or already have.
  • Individuals or entrepreneurs who are not willing to share their solution publicly for others to learn from and adopt for their personal use
  • Where intellectual property protection may be a concern

Each category will be given £3,850 of awards, which is spread between the top 5 awardees per category:

  • 1st – £2,000
  • 2nd – £1,000
  • 3rd – £500
  • 4th – £250
  • 5th – £100

If you have any difficulties with submitting applications, have eligibility concerns or require an alternative format, please email simplyopenawards@openinclusion.com.

Notes for editors

Open Inclusion – Open Inclusion provides services in market research, user insight, innovation and service design. They help businesses understand and access the market segments they may otherwise be missing, especially those with access needs such as people with permanent, temporary or situational impairments or of advanced age. Open Inclusion are the Founders of the Simply Open Awards.

Project Discovery is a video-based competition run by Enable India to discover delightful solutions that people with disabilities or access needs have created to overcome exclusion or access challenges. The videos from the competition are being collected and will later be shared through an online database that will be publicly accessible to anyone around the world, allowing others to find, use or adapt creative, inclusive solutions. Partners of Project Discovery include Google.

Please contact simplyopenawards@openinclusion.com for additional media.