Innovation for Independence

supportspace

Publish date:
16/01/2015 - 2:51pm
Last updated:
16/01/2015 - 2:51pm
Author:
Max Zadow

supportspace is a multi-platform application that connects Personal Care Budget recipients with support workers and the Social Services agency that administers funding. The Inclusive Technology Prize award will take supportspace from ALPHA to market, helping recruit people needing support and large numbers of support workers, and enabling efficient administration of personal budgets. There are other solutions out there about 'Circles of Support' designed for carers to organise their volunteering. Supportspace is instead a practical tool for disabled and older people to more effectively spend their Personal Budgets. It has been designed to meet the need of disabled people to more effectively manage their resources, so is different to existing solutions enabling carers to talk amongst themselves about their schedules. Shop4support was set up as a marketplace to sell to disabled people, but was obviously constructed around the needs of larger care providers. It isn't much used by disabled people. Supportspace instead follows the 'collaborative consumption' model of services like Uber and Air BnB and is designed to radicalise the marketplace rather than service the status quo. supportspace is what a software service looks like when it is developed by disabled people, with the advice of other disabled and older people, and designed to be a self-sustaining business.

Insight & Impact

I, Max Zadow, the Founding Director of Future Coders am a disabled person with experience in disability rights and games/app development and I have spent the past five years in the digital Health and Social care space, having founded two businesses which deal in these products. I am in receipt of direct payments myself. In terms of impact, personal budget recipients who need to identify and employ reputable support workers will be able to quickly and conveniently locate and employ suitable people who have the correct skills and credentials. The ability to use a smart phone, tablet or browser app optimised for accessibility will make supportspace much easier and more convenient for disabled and less able users than paper systems or conventional online forms. Support workers will be able to promote their services and availability to a wider audience. Agencies can also market their workers and evidence performance to commissioners via supportspace. Social Services will receive easy to manage structured data therefore reducing the ad hoc methods used today. This will save them time, money and meet quality and auditing requirements. This will be the first time consistent, high quality financial and outcome data will be available to personal budget schemes.

Skills needed for this project

  • Future Coders employs disabled designers and coders directly. For supportspace we realised we needed additional capacity. This is a substantial project, so we brought in another software development firm to provide coding support (WorpCloud). Also, we rea