Catalogue of remarkable citizen innovations 2020 : 8. Support for people with disabilities

The power of simple ideas that re-enchant the world !

septiembre 2020

Innovation Citoyenne et Développement Durable (ICDD)

On the occasion of the 2020 Produrable Fair, in a difficult context due to a particularly aggressive pandemic, which challenges our lifestyles, our ways of producing and trading, as well as our modes of governance, the ICDD association is pleased to present some thirty innovations or remarkable citizen initiatives that it is currently supporting

Concerning climate issues, or the necessary abandonment of fossil fuels in the short or medium term, it was frequently said in high places that a solution would be found: Each time a major problem was posed, it seemed that a solution was always found, until now.

« Don’t worry: we’re taking care of you and everything is under control: you can come and go as you please. In fact, it has become clear, especially with the arrival of the pesky and elusive Coronavirus, that this is not the case: our world is very fragile, and it doesn’t take much to suddenly stop the frenzy of human activity and confuse the Academies of Science, Medicine and Technology.

Things are becoming more problematic, more complex and more difficult to predict. Faced with the urgency of the situation, faced with the tragedies that are happening and that are occurring more and more frequently, we realise that it is urgent for everyone, and in particular all citizens, to be « on deck » and to see what they can do to participate in the resolution of the problems that collectively face us all.

Citizens have not waited to be asked to do so: they have long been aware of the issues at stake and, here and there, have devised solutions that are particularly relevant:

  • By their originality

  • By their simplicity

  • By their return to a common sense that had often been lost

  • By their concern for economy of means

  • By their sense of solidarity

  • By their formidable efficiency

The « problem » being that « we didn’t ask them anything »! It is therefore very difficult for their solutions to be heard, encouraged and supported, and then, once they have been developed, to be promoted to the extent of their potential impact, which is sometimes considerable.

The field of citizen innovation has never been so vast; it concerns all aspects of common life, all dimensions of the human ecosystem. To carry out our monitoring, we have focused on the priority expectations of citizens in a number of areas.

Helping people with disabilities is a theme where many citizen innovations can be found, because innovators, often touched by people close to them who are themselves disabled, see their difficulties at close quarters and try to implement solutions that may suit them.

Only two particularly remarkable and relatively recent innovations have been mentioned here:

Welcoming elderly people who have lost their independence into the family

The association CetteFamille helps to find host families close to home to accompany people who have lost their autonomy, due to age or disability, and then in their administrative procedures.

The foster carers are professionals approved and trained by the departmental council who take in one to three people full-time.

Launched in Normandy (Argentan), this initiative will make it possible to accommodate more than 3,000 elderly people who are not independent by 2021. (Sheet 8.1 )

Remarkable fact: during the Covid 19 pandemic, none of these people were infected.

Offering simple and powerful mobility assistance to disabled people blocked by the threshold of institutions

Here the innovation is technological, again very simple. People in wheelchairs are often stuck at the bottom of the steps of many houses and administrations…

The Easy Access device, which has been acclaimed by the severely disabled to cross the thresholds of homes and offices…

Easy Access allows wheelchair users to access buildings by climbing 1 to 5 steps thanks to a discreet, safe and inexpensive lifting device.

Until now, the cost of lifts or ramps has been such that it has been impossible to force departments and shops to install them to allow access for people with disabilities. Now it is possible to equip oneself, without ruining the company or the administration. The system can also be installed at home.

In view of this simple solution, access for disabled people will be made compulsory wherever this system can be installed. See Fact Sheet 8.2 and

An official national presentation of this innovation took place on 16 July 2020 in Nice, with the support of the Fondation des grands invalides de guerre. Video link to view the product:


links to sheets : inks to the sheets see pdf doc attached(pdf/710 – icdd_rpertoire_des_innovations_citoyennes_produrable_200720.pdf)