Innovative Practice 2021 on Inclusive Employment and ICT

Open space to invent and make tailor-made technical aids for persons with disabilities

`My Human Kit’ is a private association and a pioneer in the manufacturing of low-cost technical aids using the open source method. These technical aids are individual solutions for persons with disabilities, made with low-cost materials and documented online to be affordable to the greatest number. Since its opening in the city of Rennes in 2016, the first ‘Humanlab’ has enabled the manufacturing of more than 100 technical aids and welcomed more than 1,500 people with and without disabilities.

“The Humanlab helps me to become creative, learn about digital fabrication, and to develop new skills.”

About the practice at a glance
Name of Innovative Practice:Humanlab, a Fablab dedicated to disabilities
Organisation:My Human Kit
Country
of Implementation
France – Bretagne
Start Year2016
Sub-CategoryA project related to ICT

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Between 2016 and 2020, more than 100 devices have been manufactured
  • According to an impact study, 75 per cent of the beneficiaries of Humanlab have acquired new skills

PROBLEMS TARGETED

Generally, access to technical aids is difficult or too expensive, or the administrative barrier is too high for persons with disabilities.

SOLUTION, INNOVATION, AND IMPACT

The Humanlab (‘FabLab dedicated to disabilities’) is a space open to the public where all sorts of software tools and hardware machines are made available to design and make objects of whatever kind. The Humanlab offers these services for the manufacturing of tailor-made technical aids by, for, and with people with disabilities, and are made out of low-cost or recycled materials. All work is documented and made freely available online (Open Source) so that others can reproduce and improve these technical aids elsewhere. The site is fully accessible to persons with disabilities.
The Humanlab was opened in Rennes in 2016 and has been used by more than 1,500 people to date. More than 100 technical aids have been developed, among them Bionicohand, a bionic forearm prosthesis controlled by muscle sensors; and Trotti, electrical assistance devices for manual vehicles (wheelchairs, adapted bicycles, push bicycles, etc.), made from batteries and motors from recycled e-bikes.

Three men with masks work on a three-wheel bicycle. Two work at the front and one fixes something in the back. They are in a working environment

Three men construct an electronic tricycle in the Humanlab.

FUNDING, OUTLOOK AND TRANSFERABILITY

My Human Kit collects a small contribution from users and volunteers (€5 per year membership fee) and finances its activities through sponsorship from private foundations or companies, subsidies from the public administration, private services (such as presentations at conferences and fairs), and donations.
My Human Kit plans moving to a larger site with extended opening hours. Moreover, the organization wants to concentrate on the development of technical aids related to mobility and connected objects (e.g., adapted video games and home automation) and the improved accessibility of digital tools for people with visual impairments.

FACTSHEET

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