The project Codesign for Independence carried out in collaboration with the Association CVI – Centre for Independent Living aims to create a line of products for independent living that meet the needs identified by people with disabilities themselves and simultaneously contribute to the creation of a model of production and distribution of support products produced by additive manufacturing that allow co-creation and are based on a close and collaborative relationship between people with disabilities and the productive structures.
The CVI is a non-profit organisation (with IPSS status) in which 90% of its associates and all its governing bodies are made up solely of people with disabilities. Guided by the principles of Independent Living, its general objective is to empower people with disabilities and raise awareness of the need to eliminate barriers to social inclusion for this sector of the population. CVI currently manages 4 Support Centres for Independent Living, in which it provides personal assistance to 80 recipients (Vila Real /Porto, Leiria, Lisbon and Faro). These centres are funded by European and national funds under the Support Model for Independent Living (Decree-Law 129/2017). The CVI has 9 employees, 6 of them with disabilities, who ensure the management of these personal assistance services.
The project foresees the realization of wheelchair accessories produced by printing on plant-based plastic filament from natural renewable sources, allowing the realization of products with a high level of customization at much lower costs than the existing offer. It is expected that during the development of the project, the foundations will be laid for the creation of a comprehensive line of products for Independent Living whose innovation results from a co-creation model oriented towards self-determination and empowerment of people with disabilities. Financed by the INOVC+ programme that supports the acquisition of the raw materials needed to make the test models and the hiring of a scholarship holder in the field of Product Design, who will participate, in conjunction with people with disabilities, in the digital modelling of the products to be developed, the support from the FCT base funding is intended to support travel of the scholarship holder and the organisation of participatory design workshops with people with disabilities.