The Hague Accessibility Challenge   

  1. The Hague Accessibility Challenge   
    1. Designing solutions for and with visually impaired people in The Hague

Technological and social innovations find their way into our daily lives faster and faster. The inhabitants of The Hague living with a visual disability want to enjoy these innovations as much as anybody else does, but that can prove to be quite a challenge in some situations. In the Accessibility Challenge, the city of The Hague called for entrepreneurs, designers, programmers, scientists and students to design innovative solutions for visually impaired people. 

The ‘The Hague Way’

The challenge consists of 5 meet ups and 2 Design Days. Designing solutions for visually impaired citizens started with gaining a thorough understanding of the problems they encounter in their daily life. In the course of two ‘meet ups’, visually impaired people were invited to share their experience via ‘User Journey Maps’ and ‘Persona’s’. This output helped us think from the user perspective throughout the rest of the design process.

Soon was discovered that people with a visual disability have different but specific needs in the use of their environment. Every day they face many situations that present them with challenges for accessibility:

  • How do I enter the right tramline at the right door? 
  • How do I get to the other side of a crossing safely?
  • How do I navigate in a large building?

In the 3rd meetup, participants of the challenge discussed innovations designed to help visually impaired people overcome barriers. This provided participants with insights into trends and technological opportunities currently developed in the market. As the Design Days of the challenge were closing in, an ‘Experience Day’ was organised in which more than 25 participants walked through the city side by side with visually impaired people. 

 

    1. Design Days

In the Design Days at the Innovation Playground of the The Hague University of Applied Sciences 12 teams worked on new and existing solutions for a more accessible The Hague. The teams were made up of students from various study fields and more than 5 business teams were participating. The first Design Day enabled teams to build an understanding of their target group, conceptualize their ideas and do a first round of prototyping. 

The goal of the second Design Day was to make actual prototypes of the concepts and test them directly with users. A total of 12 teams, 10 experts and 10 visually impaired people contributed to these inspirational days. The teams made significant progress during the Design Days and exchanged a lot of learnings. 

At the Age-Friendly Cities Conference on the 4th of October, the learnings and some of  the team results were presented. The city of The Hague will continue the work to make the city more inclusive and to be a more comfortable, beautiful and accessible place for everybody!

Fatima Belkasmi fatima.belkasmi@denhaag.nl

Titel

  1. The Hague Accessibility Challenge

Author

Fatima Belkasmi fatima.belkasmi@denhaag.nl

Country

The Netherlands – belgium

Year

2017

Category

Practice

Topic

Technological and social innovations, accesibility

Subject

visually impaired people

Source

OCTOBER  2017 EDITION no 84