The JAM Card is a social innovation from NOW Group, an organisation based in Belfast, which allows people with a learning disability or a communication barrier to indicate easily and discreetly that they might need ‘Just A Minute’ when accessing services.
NOW Group was assisted by InterTradeIreland’s Acumen programme to expand the reach of the JAM Card cross-border, where it is proving to be very popular.
The National Transport Authority is the latest Irish organisation to embrace the JAM Card. It is now available from, for example, eight Iarnród Éireann stations across Ireland or www.jamcard.org.
Maeve Monaghan, CEO of NOW Group says “Thanks to InterTradeIreland’s Acumen programme NOW Group has been able to register as an organisation within Ireland which will help us develop our reach and impact for people with learning difficulties and autism.”
“The Acumen programme has also supported the funding of a full time Business Development Manager to support the further roll out of our JAM Card. The card was designed by NOW Group participants and it offers a discreet way of letting someone know the holder needs just a minute of patience in a public situation,” adds Maeve.
Alison Currie, InterTradeIreland’s Operation Manager says “We recognised the innovative nature of the JAM Card. NOW Group is a great example of a forward thinking organisation. It is fantastic that the Acumen programme has helped to introduce the JAM Card to a wider audience.”
“We know that helping to fund a dedicated post to concentrate on the opposite jurisdiction makes a real difference to many of the SMEs that we support throughout the programme.”
JAM Cards are available in the standard card form or as a smartphone app for ease of access, and are used by over 35,000 people in the UK and Northern Ireland on public transport as well as in shops, restaurants, and other public spaces. Drivers and other customer-facing staff at Transport for Ireland operators have been trained to recognise the JAM Card, ensuring that Ireland is on the journey to becoming fully JAM Card-friendly.
If you are an SME with an innovative product, and you would like to grow your business cross-border, you can find more information on the Acumen programme here.