Hackathons gave Eddie Chapman more than just solutions
CEO of Association for Children (ACD), Eddie Chapman came to his first hackathon as a changemaker in 2014. Changemakers are what we at RHoK call a charity, community group, social enterprise or individual making the world a better place.
Eddie was looking for a new way to gather client feedback to our Melbourne Hackathon in 2014, but he came away with much more than that. After years of participating in RHoK’s twice-yearly hackathons it’s been more than just the beer, pizza and technical wizardry that have kept him coming back.
“At every hack I come away with something new that I can apply back at work. It might be a new application, a new way of thinking about our problems, new tools, new contacts.”
ACD is an organisation providing support for kids with a disability, leading an initiative called Changing Places. The initiative encourages the construction of fully accessible toilet facilities for people with profound disabilities who require hoists and change tables which are unavailable in standard accessible toilets.
Changing Places also helps people find these facilities, and give feedback on them, as well as suggest new locations. At RHoK’s summer 2015 hackathon, Eddie’s team redesigned the Changing Places to allow an easy way for family and carers feedback process online. Not only did this result in a smooth interface for suggesting changes and new facilities, but through collaboration between people with a disability and developers led to improvements in the website’s overall design.
Eddie now volunteers on the other side of RHoK, helping to co-ordinate the twice yearly hackathon. According to Eddie, the best hacks are those where the end users are involved from the start, leading to an outcome designed to address a clear problem.
“Find some really specific, narrow ideas that your team can really own. It might seem small, but often they’re the best problems and will more likely give you great outcomes.” he says.
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