Design meets disability; The Undateables and BCUR

Recently my project about creating accessible websites for people with cognitive disabilities has taken a slight break due to the holidays. I started January of by buying the book ‘Design meets disability’ which is about how design and disabilities have influenced each other. It is very interesting, discussing all types of disabilities and iconic moments in fashion, whilst using striking images that compliment the text. One iconic moment which the book brought to my attention was a photo shoot called ‘Fashion-able’ in the magazine ‘Dazed and confused’ which used disabled models for their article.

Last week I began watching the series ‘The Undateables’, a programme on Channel 4 which follows people with challenging conditions (such as learning difficulties and cognitive disabilities) on their search to find love. It is sensitive, kind and an eye opener as it gives you an insight as to how these people struggle when put under the pressure of dating. In one episode a gentleman with aspergers has to use an online map to find out the location for a date he’s going in a few days later. Unable to use the map easily he gets very frustrated with the application; so much that he walks away from the computer and gives up trying to use the map.

Program’s like The Undateables and magazine shoots such as ‘Fashion-able’ are helping to put people with disabilities right into the public spot light; which I think it a massive positive. Many people have a fear of things they do not know much about or understand and this can come across as judgemental. Personally, before this project I did not know a great deal about disabilities, especially ones which affect the mind such as autism. As I am finding new research I become even more intrigued about how people’s minds can work differently, I find it fascinating. Therefore, I think making the public aware of the different types of disabilities and how they affect an individual could help to educate and remove any stereotypes surrounding them.

In December I entered my project into the British Conference of Undergraduate Research. This is a large conference, held at the end of March, where students from various different universities come together and share each other’s projects using posters; presentation and essays. If I’m honest I viewed the other projects which entered in the past and they were mainly scientific based subjects which made me think I wouldn’t be accepted, however, I still put my project forward. Recently they got back to me to tell me that my project has been accepted and I will be giving a 10 minute presentation at the conference.

 

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