Innovation and the NDIS - New World Conference: Disability in the 21st Century

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The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) New World Conference: Disability in the 21st Century will be held in Brisbane next week from 27-29 October 2015.

The conference will bring together some of the most innovative and creative minds from around the world to discuss future technology that will enable people with disability, their families and carers to live a life of inclusion.

The National Disability Insurance Agency's CEO, David Bowen, said technology and innovation will help drive how we support people with disability, their families and carers into the future.

"That's why the NDIS is bringing together people with disability, disability service providers, technology experts, entrepreneurs and policy makers to this conference."

Program highlights include:

  • Dr Jeffrey Cole, Director of the Centre for the Digital Future, University of Southern California. Dr Cole is a world authority on technology and the influence it has on our attitudes and behaviour. He has been at the forefront of media and communication technology policy issues in the United States and internationally for the past 25 years.
  • Top accessibility officers from the big three. IBM, Apple and Microsoft will outline their future plans for assistive technology and how this will enable people with disability to participate and engage fully in life.
  • 'Digital dreams' – where people with disability have the opportunity to explain their technology needs and present their technology 'dreams' to the technology vendors and service providers.
  • Christopher Hills, an 'Accessibility Ambassador'. Mr Hills is a highly regarded editor and video producer who lives with cerebral palsy and quadriplegia. He will demonstrate how assistive technology has facilitated his career.
  • Academy Award winner, Dr Mark Sagar who developed the technology for characters in Avatar, King Kong and Spiderman 2 will discuss developing an artificial nervous system and further future developments that will directly impact the lives of people with disability.

The conference will also examine how the NDIS is using technology to help improve disability services throughout Australia. A key component of this is the master classes designed specifically for executives.

"This will be a timely opportunity for CEOs, CIOs and CFOs to meet and discuss the technological needs required for the successful rollout of the NDIS. We will discuss operational and HR issues with the NDIS, and work together on solutions and positive ways forward," Mr Bowen said.

The conference will also provide an opportunity for startup companies to present their innovative designs in a pitch competition.

This will be an engaging, though provoking session and will conclude with a panel of judges selecting a winner.