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Designing Campus Disability Support Services

Service Design for office of Inclusion and Accessibility Services at IIT Roorkee

Sponsor- Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee (Sponsored Research and Industrial Consultancy)

Duration- 7 months

Brief

To design and build a service design model for inclusion and accessibility services at the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. 

Outcome

A core service model for the office of Inclusion and Accessibility Services along with necessary forms, toolkits, and visual identity.

Impact

The service would impact more than 7500 students at IITR directly or indirectly. Other IITs can adopt this approach to set up their support services in the future.

Overview

RPwD Act, 2016 (Right of Persons with Disabilities Act) mandates non-discrimination and access to all individuals with disabilities in the public domain, be it information, infrastructure/ built environment, or services. Indian education campuses are driven by the same mandate yet have a vast scope to refine, improvise and move towards accessibility and inclusion. It is an urgent requirement for educational institutes to extend reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities and encourage an inclusive environment for learning.

My role in the project

The key responsibility was to develop a service design model, a vision document, and a master plan to guide the whole process of enhancing accessibility and inclusion on the IITR campus. The role unfolds to achieve the following aspects-

 

  • To understand the diverse needs of students with disabilities,

  • To conduct interviews/data sessions and map special needs.

  • To develop an accessibility assessment framework for institutional systems (including information system, infrastructure system, academic system) and other stakeholder interactions.

 

I worked to evolve a complete strategy towards a contextual framework for implementation in various phases with design hand-holding guidance through a design thinking process.

Project Workflow

Research

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Analysis

Synthesis

Ideation

Ideation

Service Design

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Design solution

Detailing Service touchpoints

Secondary Research

Understanding the disability landscape, accessibility, and inclusion in residential higher education.

Mapping current practices in student life on campus.

Benchmark study of disability support services at 15 universities across the globe.

Primary Research

In-depth interviews of students with disabilities

Journey mapping workshop

Insights from the interviews

Student experience journey mapping

Persona mapping

Analysis of the best practices from the benchmark study

Developed a framework to analyze campus services

Ideation workshop

Defining design directions

Defining the vision of service

To-be journey mapping

Service blueprint

Organization strucutre

Visual identity

Roadmap for implementation

Web portal for the service

Accessibility assessment toolkits

Reasonable accommodation form

Deliverables

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Accessibility assessment toolkits

Web portal prototype

Logo design

Reasonable accommodation form

Vision Report

Learnings

  • This project marked a permanent place for accessibility in my design process. It is empowering as a design practitioner to have an open mindset to create inclusive solutions.

  • Adapting to remote work and online interactions evolved communication and co-creation. Focussing on inclusive communication during the research added significant value.

  • It certainly gave me a fresh perspective to look at disability (or diversity) while balancing the thought process between design and activism.

  • The project allowed exploration and control over the service design process.

The project is in progress at IIT Roorkee. More details are to be added on the completion and launch of the service. However, I would love to discuss my process, experience, and learnings anytime.