Sociability visits Naidex 2022!
Jul 20, 2022
Well, what a couple of days we had last week! On 6 & 7th July, the Sociability team (Matt, Jennie, Mateo, Isadora and our newest team member Gem) headed to Birmingham to visit the annual convention, Naidex. If you don’t know already, Naidex is an annual event hosted in the UK and is Europe's most established event for the independent living community. A lot of the disabled community visit this event to find out about the latest products and tech available in the community as well as to attend talks and workshops throughout the days too.
Left to right: Matt, Gem, Jennie and Mateo in front of Naidex wall
Sociability has attended previously so we naturally wanted to show our faces again, talk about Sociability to friends attending as well as to see some of our fab ambassadors!
Meeting other disabled people in the community
We hosted a social on Wednesday 6th July at Sky by the Water and, wow - what a turnout!
Our very own CEO and co-founder, Matt said “my favourite part was definitely the Sociability Social, which was an opportunity to chat to users from across the country, to hear and share stories of good and bad accessibility and – most importantly – to share a drink, snack and a laugh with some lovely new friends”. We had around 20 Sociability ambassadors and users all gathered together, meeting and catching up - it was so needed and our very own Isadora said it was a “fantastic atmosphere” - yay. It definitely confirmed for us here at Sociability, just how vital meeting and networking with fellow disabled people is. That’s why we’ll be doing lots more mapping days for the rest of the year – there was even talk of a much-requested Northern meet-up…
Is Naidex worth the trip?
As well as our social, we managed to have a few tours of the exhibits ourselves and we loved seeing all the latest technology and products available. Our Head of Community, Jennie managed to have some fun demos including trying a sit to stand wheelchair and even a wheelchair that climbed stairs - which we all were baffled by. Our very own Isadora also couldn’t quite believe how fast some electric mobility aids can go! Turns out she was a natural…
Jennie climbing stairs in stand wheelchair!
We would definitely recommend going to Naidex if you’re able to make it next year. As Jennie says “Naidex for me is the highlight of my year! Its a chance to meet lots of my friends who I have been chatting to online for years, but also test out some amazing disability tech in the flesh!” however we do also recognise that this is very much window shopping for most. Jennie highlights “disability tech is expensive and inaccessible to most. Whilst there are ways round being able to fund these things, for the most part, it's very hard to access”.
So there you go, that’s a little round-up of our trip. Thank you to our ambassadors for coming to say hello, raising a glass and sharing Sociability in person and on social media. To finish, we think Mateo summarises it perfectly “I think it is a concept that will keep growing in the next coming years and Sociability should aim to take up a bigger part every year!” and we couldn’t agree more. Just watch this space…
…psst If you’d like to see more pictures from the trip, head over to our Facebook page.