On track to be an entrepreneur

Riley Saban is using technology to conquer the world.

04 December 2020
A young man sitting in a wheelchair
Image: Thinking outside the box: Riley Saban

My name is Riley Saban and I am 17 years old. I am in Year 12 and I am studying business studies and I am doing a Cert Three in multimedia and information-digital-technology. I live on the beautiful Coffs Coast in northern NSW and this year I became an ambassador for Source Kids Magazine for NSW.

I have cerebral palsy and technology is my life. I use technology to assist me every day. I am always waiting for that next piece of equipment which will extend my capacity to be involved in a variety of situations.

I have had to overcome many obstacles due to my physical disability, but I am fortunate to be surrounded by a supporting network.

I consider myself to be tech savvy and I spend my time engrossed in projects on my computer and my phone.

I aspire to become like the brilliant minds that design and create meaningful technology, who think outside the box. I hope when I finish school I can create many innovative businesses that use assistive technology to enhance people's lives.

In 2016, I was fortunate enough to feature in a two-part series on ABC Catalyst ‘Becoming Superhuman,’ where I drove a buggy through an obstacle course using nothing, but my eye movements.

In 2019, along with my Dad, I took part in a 16-week accelerator program called Remarkable that assisted us with our invention of Polyspine and I am proud to be the co-founder in this company.

The concept of PolySpine was born from our desire for a single piece of equipment that could be used to provide head and core body support in various inclusive activities.

The result is a modular trunk and head support brace that can be customised to follow the front to back curve of the spine. It is also adjustable in both length and width which allows for growth.

Polyspine is currently in the process of developing a wide range of attachments which will enable some individuals to try new experiences for the very first time. Some of my personal favourites include paddle boarding, independent swimming and the beach wheelchair attachment, which featured on ABC’s 7:30 last year.

Our team is currently working very closely with the University of Technology Sydney and an independent designing company to test and fine tune our product.

Polyspine will empower and encourage people like myself from all over the world, to be more active outside of their wheelchairs.

I also have been involved in creating and presenting presentations about accessibility features available on Windows and Apple devices with my co-partner Gai Cross.

We presented at InteractED for the Department of Education last year in Sydney. The focus was on the importance of knowing the different devices and the accessibility features available.

Without my equipment and my devices I wouldn't and couldn't be doing all the things I am currently involved in and I believe with the right tools you can achieve anything.

To celebrate International Day of People with Disability. I look forward to the advancements in technology and being involved in creating an inclusive society for all.

Watch now

Watch a video of Riley explaining how the assistive technology works and helps him with his learning and every day life.
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