For this project, I decided to focus on designing an assistive device for children with disabilities to either enable them to an education or to be able to contribute to their family or community. Throughout these past few weeks, primary and secondary research has confirmed the substantial need for assistive devices for children with disabilities as well as multiple design opportunities for the project.
Improvements from Last Week's Presentation
There were a lot of areas of improvement and constructive feedback that was given by the professors and guests during the presentation last week. Navin Parehk agreed that this user group was a good focus for this project and he confirmed that there is a substantial need for such devices for children in the country. Bjarki suggested that during our primary research we should find a specific person and design based on their needs. Based on these suggestions I have defined some of the next steps that will be accomplished before the concept presentation.
A research report was required after giving the presentation last Friday. The group summarized the secondary and primary research we collected in a 15 page report as well as including our brief, the scenario board, and our improvements. It was submitted by the end of the day.
In order to move forward with this project, I have recognized that I need more primary research in order to get a better understanding of this user group. I have come in contact with Maali Wilson who is the founder of the Rwenzori Assoication of Parents of Children with Disabilities and he runs a school in Kasese in which 40-50 children with disabilities attend. After I receive a response from this contact, I tend to improve my focus by identifying some students or children who need certain assistive devices and formulate a concept around them. While I await a response from both of my contacts, I plan to be actively sketching, ideating and prototyping different ideas that were discovered through most of the information gathered in previous weeks.
Questions For Maali
Can you describe some of the issues that children with disabilities face in Uganda?
What are some of the different kinds of disabilities that the children have that attend the school? What is the range of ages that attend the school?
What kind of lessons are the children taught?
What kind of occupations do these children obtain after acquiring their education? Do you know of any unique, successful businesses that students have started?
How do most children travel to school? Is this a boarding school?
What are some of the environmental conditions of the country that these children have difficulty with?
What kinds of assistive devices do these students require?
Do you or your students experience any problems with some of the current assistive devices at the school?
What are some assistive devices that you know of that are not common in Uganda, but may be useful to the children?
Is there any specific students who would benefit from an assistive device that do not have one?
How have these children adapted to not having any support?
Are their any conditions that would have been preventable if they