invisaWear brings safety to the I/DD community
I work with a community that has a sexual assault rate of over 90% throughout their lifetime.
Although tech can’t completely solve this massive problem, the industry can help give the Intellectual and Developmental Disability (I/DD) community the tools and education they need to advocate for themselves and ensure their own safety—even if some of these tech companies don’t even know they are doing so.
invisaWear is one of those tech companies. While it doesn't advertise itself as an assistive tech company, the invisible safety feature has given safety to a significant number of people in the I/DD community I work with.
Selective Mutism, Autism, Intellectual Disabilities, and a variety of other factors can stand in the way of people being able to physically or vocally advocate that their current situation is unsafe as well as remove themselves from said situation.
The New Hampshire-based company, founded by Rajia Abdelaziz and funded by MassChallenge for an undisclosed amount, has enabled vulnerable members of the I/DD community to discreetly call for help at the click of a button. Once clicked, a text message is sent to their preset emergency contact along with their location.
On top of a jewelry piece that sends an SOS signal, the company has also built an app that allows ADT to stay on the line or in a chat app until the person has reached a safe place. This is a premium feature, however, a limitation for a community that often has access to limited financial resources.
This combined hardware and software approach not only gets help for people who need it, but it also makes sure that it neither draws unwanted attention or confrontation.
Several people I worked with this year have received an invisaWear necklace and given it rave reviews.
In many instances this year already, the people I work with have pressed their invisaWear button to alert their emergency contacts to advocate for themselves to get out of unsafe situations they would not have been able to previously. They were able to do this without worrying further for their safety, having to use physical/verbal/or social skills they weren’t able to utilize at that stressful time, and empower themselves in this dangerous situation.
On top of empowering people to advocate for themselves, their products are also sensory friendly. They carry a decent amount of products for a company launched in 2016, including necklaces, bracelets, athletic bands, and keychains for all genders.
While a jewelry piece that sends an SOS signal with your location is not going to eliminate the issue of sexual assault in this community, it is certainly giving people more empowerment than they’ve had previously and is a great step in the right direction.
The only downside I have seen to invisaWear is for it to work, your linked phone needs to be within bluetooth range, which can still be a safety issue for some of the people I work with. I would love to see a solution to this in the future, but it is in no way a dealbreaker for those who are in the most need for invisaWear’s products.
This is a really neat piece of tech to give people a discreet way to reach out for help during difficult or dangerous situations. Thanks for sharing!
Do you have any thoughts on what a solution to phones needing to be in range might look like? Perhaps, with satellite internet becoming more reliable this could be a possibility?