Phase 1: Introduction and Scenario Building
Suggested time 1 to 2 hours.
Introduction to project as a whole and the type of course you will run (short/long)
Participants will need to form groups to work on this project. Ideally participants from diverse backgrounds, skill sets and interests should work together.
There are a few ‘ice-breaker’ activities you could run to get participants to know each other better and to find out each other’s strengths.
One example is the Name Badge Swap: Have each participant write their name and a few words describing their expertise or background on a name tag. Then, ask them to swap name tags with someone they don’t know and introduce themselves to the group while wearing the swapped name tag. This will help participants connect with others who have different skills and backgrounds than their own.
Introduction to the cards and their purpose
As part of this course, we will be using the Open Minds Cards to generate randomised personas that will be used to prompt discussions and activities throughout the course. These cards are designed to help participants explore the experiences of people with different disabilities and the impact that design can have on their lives.
Please note that these cards are intended to be used in a respectful and inclusive manner. It is important to ensure that all participants feel comfortable with the use of the cards, and that discussions and activities are conducted in a way that is sensitive to the experiences of people with disabilities.
It is important to note that disability is not a personal attribute, but rather a consequence of the interaction between a person and their environment. People with disabilities are not “less able” than those without disabilities, but rather experience limitations in certain situations due to the design of their environment.
There are 3 different types of cards in the deck:
Person - Condition - Disabling Environment
A Person card describes a person. These cards give a little insight into that character and their life. For example:
Isaiah is a 29 year-old local activist who enjoys jigsaw puzzles, charity work and cookery. Intelligent and creative, but can also be very rude and a bit grumpy.
The Condition card assigns a medical or situational condition to the character you are creating. For example:
…and is deaf
The Disabling Environment card describes a place, an activity or an object. Such as:
The task now is to combine those 3 cards to create a hypothesis about that person’s experience. There could be multiple things about Isaiah’s condition that would make a bus a disabling environment for him. The fact that he can be grumpy may or may not be a factor in the hypothesis.
One Hypothesis for this example could be:
Isaiah would find riding on the bus difficult, because he is deaf and cannot hear the announcements about which stop they are at.
Isaiah would find riding on the bus a challenge because he doesn’t want to tell the driver he is deaf, as he is grumpy, and so can’t communicate properly when trying to purchase his ticket.
The end goal of these cards is to come up with a hypothesis that the participants will then need to try and answer.
Is this true? If so, what can we design to help in this situation?
Warm up exercises with the cards
Before jumping right into the main hypothesis building activity, it would be good for participants to practise a few games with the cards, forming questions with them and also to get their creative minds flowing.
- Rapid Fire Hypothesis: Divide participants into groups and have them draw three random cards each. Set a timer for 5 minutes and have them come up with a hypothesis for those cards, write it down and then draw 3 more cards. The group who has the most hypothesis at the end of the 5 minutes wins.
- Rapid Fire Solutions: This game takes the first game one step further by including the next step of brainstorming a solution. As an example, our hypothesis is “Isaiah would find riding on the bus a challenge because he doesn’t want to tell the driver he is deaf, as he is grumpy, and so can’t communicate properly when trying to purchase his ticket.”
A quick solution would be a large screen on his chest that spells out what he’s thinking, or a wallet that can hear instructions and automatically dispense the right amount of coins, or a pair of glasses that can lip-read and tap out morse code onto Issiah’s ears so he can understand what’s being said.The quick solutions don’t have to be realistic, or feasible, it even helps to encourage participants to think big and ridiculous.
The teams then share their favourite solution with the rest of the participants and vote on whose is best.
- Storytelling Challenge: Have participants draw three random cards and work in small groups to create a story that incorporates all three elements. Encourage participants to think creatively and use the cards to inspire unique and engaging storylines. Once each group has developed their story, have them share it with the rest of the participants.
Group learning diaries introduction (blog / video / podcast)