Mobile app aids life-saving relief to people with disabilities in emergencies

Posted on: Friday, 2nd September, 2016

On Thursday 1st September, CBM and digital marketing agency Studio 24, hosted the UK introduction to the Humanitarian Hands on Tool (HHOT); a vital and innovative new mobile app, dedicated to helping disabled people access life-saving relief services during emergencies.

Kirsty Smith, Chief Executive for CBM UK, said, “When disasters strike, people with disabilities are often among the worst affected and the last to receive help. With a distinct lack of practical advice on disability in disaster scenarios, and with 1 in 7 individuals living with some form of disability worldwide (80% of those living in developing countries), a large number of people are missing out on life-saving relief services like food, shelter or medical support.

CBM had developed a set of guidelines which cover practical advice for field workers in emergency response scenarios on how to make relief services inclusive – this means that they will be accessible to people with disabilities but also to older people, pregnant women, children and so on. To make this content available and provide a tool for users who have to implement the guidance in the field, CBM partnered with Studio 24 to create the Humanitarian Hands on Tool (HHOT).

– this means that they will be accessible to people with disabilities but also to older people, pregnant women, children and so on.

This custom mobile app, which was built from the ground up with a focus on accessibility, provides practical, step-by-step guidance that emergency workers can access freely and easily to ensure that their relief efforts leave nobody behind.

The content is simple to navigate, grouped into topics such as nutrition, logistics and camp management; allowing field workers to quickly find individual task cards relevant to their current situation, guiding them on exactly what to do in a disaster situation. Users are able to access all of the content offline to ensure there is no gap in support in locations without internet access and it is available in multiple languages.

The result is a concrete solution for field workers to facilitate inclusion of disabled people in emergency response.

Matt Harvey, Front-end Developer at Studio 24 , said, "It's a great morale boost knowing that we are developing something that will make a difference to people all over the world. We are all aware that technology has the power to transform lives for the better but it's easy to let that knowledge slip into the back of your mind when you're working with technology every day. Working on this hands-on tool provides us with constant reminders of the power technology has to improve people's lives and the barriers it can help to overcome. We're very eager to see how it will be used in the real world and observe the difference it will make.

The Humanitarian Hands on Tool (HHOT) will be launched in early 2017. You can preview the HHOT online tool (beta) here:


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