Employability for the Visually Impaired People

Eye Sight and Vision are different

MA Service Experience Design and Innovation major project turned into a startup

 

Visually Impaired People (VIP) World

Click on the link to open the VIP World website

Client

Companies having a digital platform- websites or mobile apps

85,000+ visually impaired people in UK 

Brief

The hypothesis of the project is that increased employability makes the visually blind or partially sighted earn a living, feel independent and be confident in life. The main aim of the project is to increase the employability of the visually challenged individuals in London. The project raises  the question:

​​ ​​

How might I improve the employability of blind or partially sighted people that is feasible for them to do and as per their liking?

Objectives

Increasing the chances of employability for the employable age visually and partially sighted individuals depends on:

• methods to enhance the skills of the individual target user 

• methods to find the jobs they can perform and sustain

• methods to make the life of employers easy

My Role

Design Researcher

Service Designer

Volunteer with Blind Aid charity - a period of 6 months and continuing..

Service Design Futures Talk

To see the progress of the project till 21st Sep 2018, click on the image 

WhatsApp Image 2018-09-21 at 4.22.49 PM.

Methodology

At the beginning of the project, I wanted to adopt a methodology that not only follows a human-centric approach but also helps me retrospect in different time intervals. This is due to the fact of running a project solely for a period of 5 months. Therefore, I merged the Double Diamond approach, proposed by the design council, with Design Thinking, Lean Startup and Agile methods as explained in the diagram: Discover and Define stage with Design Thinking, Develop and Deliver with Lean Startup and Agile methods

To retrospect the progress, I applied the Service Design Sprint (SDS) method innovated by Livework. The Sprint method has been developed jelling the Service Design methods with agile. Wherein, the following stages are valid (Jonsson, 2017):

ï Data/user research suggests that → Guess on hypothesis

ï Test, so if we try → Experiment to test hypothesis

ï And Measure it → metric(s)

ï We should see this Change → expected result(s) vs. observed result(s)

Partners

In the interview with the Director of the charity, Richie Walden, I had to convey my vision on the project and he happily supported me to start working as a volunteer in the IT Skills class for visually impaired with assistive technology. But before starting working with them, I had to go through a series of paperwork, including a DBS check.

 

After the DBS check was approved, the charity had planned a training session to empathize with the visually impaired people and also got training on assisting the visually impaired in day-to-day life to understand the individual cases and not judge them for their actions. I also got training on what partially sightedness looks like.

Now, I am testing the solution with the members from this charity. 

Digital Catapult partnered with the course to support students whose projects align with the goals of the company projects. 


Most of the help from the organization came in the Develop stage when I could realize the kind of solution I will propose. I will demonstrate the advice in business strategy and technical aspects from Digital Catapult in the Develop and Deliver stage of the progress.

Ethics

  1. Getting consent from all the visually impaired in the class before publishing about them in the report.

  2. Getting approval from Blind Aid charity on the content being published.

  3. Undergo a thorough DBS check before starting a class with the visually impaired people. 

  4. Undergo a training session conducted by the staff of Blind Aid on empathizing with the visually impaired. 

  5. Considering the situation of each individual as different and not imposing or forcing general ideas.

  6. Not judging any individual on the level of commitment in the project. 

  7. Not sharing personal information of the visually impaired people outside the boundaries of the Southwark Community Centre.

Service Design Fringe Festival - Lightning Talk

To see the progress of the project till mid-October 2018, click on the image 

Screen Shot 2019-02-04 at 1.16.20 pm.png

Some images along...

Solution

VIP World is a service for the companies to enhance the digital platform, web or mobile, to meet the requirements of visually impaired people by co-designing with the VIP World Community based in the UK.

 

The websites and mobile devices will be designed for inclusivity with the visually impaired people (diverse profiles, provided by VIP World community through the charity network) by keeping accessible legislation (WCAG 2.1) and inclusive design (user-centered design approach) in consideration. A standard report will be generated for the companies based on the moderation done by us, recommending the user insights.

Click on the button to download the detailed report on the project

Prototype of the Website

© 2019 Ishan Vats Jha