People with intellectual disabilities co-designing digital innovations

Solution
Co-Design Toolkit for Designing Inclusive Apps
Organization
Saint John of God Liffey Services
Country of Implementation
Ireland
Region
Europe
Subregion
Western Europe
Start Year
2016
First published
10.02.2023

The co-design toolkit of Ireland’s Saint John of God Liffey Service (SJOG) enables people with intellectual disabilities to co-create mobile apps that support their daily lives. Launched in 2016, the co-design programme had 70 participants and more than 30 apps being developed by 2022.

A mixed group of men in different ages and appearing to be in the autism spectrum seated in groups scattered in a hall raising one of their hands holding a mobile phone.
SJOG enables people with intellectual disabilities to co-create apps for their everyday lives.

Solution details

People

Sarah Gavra BOLANDWebsite
“I thought that the project was great fun, and the best bit was that the website talked to us!.” Miley, Participant, Greengables DIT Project, SJOG & TUDublin

Saint John of God Liffey Service (SJOG) is an NGO based in Dublin, Ireland, that has developed the Co-Design toolkit. It enables persons with intellectual disabilities to co-produce mobile apps that support their daily interactions. The Co-Design programme follows the principles of inclusive Universal Design. Persons with intellectual disabilities are involved at every stage, from problem definition to shaping the final product. Co-Design is carried out in partnership with Technological University Dublin. Between 2016 and 2022 the programme had 70 participants and developed over 30 apps.

Problems Targeted

The low engagement of people with intellectual disabilities in digital innovation deprives individuals of their right to inclusion and increases the digital divide.

Solution, Innovation and Impact

Persons with intellectual disabilities provide project ideas, join the designers in building a technological app, and engage in the design process. The co-designers heavily influence the final product, and consultation is sought during each phase. Moreover, the co-designer’s validation of changes is required in the process. An example is the development of a mobile app for daily groceries shopping. The app provides information on how much a product costs and shows images on the right amount of money to give to cashiers. This allows users to be confident in their interactions with store clerks and cashiers. Other apps that have been developed in this partnership include an accessible dating app, an app to access information on the rights of persons with disabilities, and an app that helps to support housing transitions of persons with disabilities. Co-Design practice was run as a trial with 20 co-designers working with 20 students in 2016. This trial partnership has developed into an ongoing yearly module within Technological University Dublin in partnership with SJOG Liffey Services.

Funding, Outlook and Transferability

The Co-Design partnership has been facilitated through the SJOG Day Service support staff, which is funded by the HSE Health Service Executive, a government agency. In addition, the European Erasmus+ programme funded the project with €130,000. This covered training and development cost. In the next three years the practice will be embedded in two more Erasmus + funded digital inclusion projects, spreading the practice to six other European counties. Moreover, SJOG would like to initiate certification process so that the work of persons with intellectual disabilities will be professionally recognized.

Media

Pictures

A mixed group of men in different ages and appearing to be in the autism spectrum seated in groups scattered in a hall raising one of their hands holding a mobile phone.SJOG enables people with intellectual disabilities to co-create apps for their everyday lives.

Downloads

Related information

Solutions with the same:

Country of Implementation

Ireland

Region of Implementation

Europe