A LIFELONG DREAM
Our roots date back to 2002 when our founder, Simon Spencer, discovered he had Dyspraxia – a developmental disorder that impacts multiple areas of a person's life. Though not identified until he started attending College, it did (and continues to) affect his daily routine in different ways; most notably his gross and fine motor skills, and maintaining a suitable fitness regime for optimal well-being. Simon suffers from Sensory Processing Disorder as well.
During the first week of a Fine Art degree, his mother then suffered her own walking disability as a result of an accident. In turn she joined a local Access Group, an organisation founded after discussions with West Sussex County Council (WSCC) and local City Councils, consisting of an advisory panel, consulting on accessibility for the built environment. This offers a series of “access assessments”, visits where they are invited to inspect the facilities and talk with members of staff, in order to improve onsite accessibility. The results of these inspections are then compiled into a free Guide covering most of a District's shops, businesses and attractions. The Access Group received funding for the Guide from The National Lottery and others, enabling them to expand the coverage to other districts.
The ideas for Rushboard grew whilst Simon was studying a BSc (Hons) Computer Games Technology degree, at the University of Portsmouth. As part of his Degree, he researched possible solutions to accessibility for videogames for his Final Year Dissertation in 2009 (including ideas for products to alleviate his own disorders), using VR and gesture motion interfaces. Graduating in the middle of a recession, however, he struggled to find internships or paid employment in the games industry, in part, due to his disabilities. As such he served on Nvidia's Quadro Technology Council for three years, and a consultant for Dell's "Rockstar" Program to improve their products/services, which he has continued to this day.
To support the development of Rushboard's projects, and gain general Electronis Engineering skills, he has earned electronics expertise from a part-time Robotics and Autonomous Systems MSc, at University of Sussex. Simon has volunteered for the Access Group as well since 2010, participating in audits that have included Kew at Wakehurst Place, sites with The RSPB, the Sussex Wildlife Trust, West Sussex County Council (WSCC) and the Novium Theatre.
Rushboard are currently developing the PALADIN platform, for disabled children 8-18yrs and elderly users, with plans for other proposals that are yet to be finalised.
Additionally, we hope to develop cinematic videogame experiences using simple callisthenics, alongside a US production studio, which will be announced later.