Document Type



Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence



Publication Details

Universal Design & Higher Education in Transformation Congress,30th October -2nd November 2018, Dublin Castle


Abstract. Co-design has its roots in the Participatory Design techniques developed in Scandinavia in the 1970s. Co-design reflects a fundamental change in the traditional designer-client relationship. A key tenet of co-design is that users, as 'experts' of their own experience, become central to the design process. This reflects the role of the user at the heart of Universal Design. This paper describes an on-going co-design partnership between undergraduate ICT students and Community Partners who support individuals with Intellectual Disabilities. The aim of this work is to develop assistive technology applications and/or products which meet the requirements of the Community Partners. The core development philosophy is Universal Design. The project work forms part of the academic requirements for undergraduate assessment in computing courses and must fully meet the prescribed learning outcomes. The Community Partners initiate the process by outlining preliminary requirements for the Projects using online accessible videos. In partnership with the students they engage and participate in design, development and testing workshops throughout the lifecycle of the project. Some of the necessary preparations and agreements are described, which are required before these co-design partnerships can work for the mutual benefit of all concerned. The experiences and outcomes of completed projects are reflected upon and the potential benefits of promoting Universal Design through co-design partnerships between the ICT developers of the future and the Community Partners are considered. Examples of projects undertaken include Accessible Login and Shopping Assistant..