Communication platform for schools
With a flexible and comprehensible digital communications platform Funka wants to make life easier for parents with or without disabilities. With funding from the Swedish Post and Telecom Authority’s innovation competition “Simplify for parents”, the service can now become a reality.
Digitisation, in combination with IT tools, offers fantastic opportunities for parents who have any type of disability to take part in their children's schooling and stay updated on what is happening at school. But despite the new opportunities, surveys show that many schools' web solutions cannot handle the demands for accessibility, and parents with disabilities thus risk being excluded from the digital school environment.
Most people who have children of school age have probably been frustrated with all the different interfaces you can suffer from when trying to communicate absence or read schedules, says Funka’s Head of Development Johan Kling, who have initiated the project. It is not just about accessibility problems, but poor systems in general.
Funka’s idea is to develop a digital platform, Better for parents, for information- and communication activities for schools that make life easier for parents, no matter what ability they have. The platform will have a variety of built-in features, including access to the school schedule and school year calendar, absence reporting, class lists, menus for school lunches, possibility for parents to share homework, change the times for pickup/collection, see grades and test results, schedule appointments with teachers and the school nurse, and find leisure activities and a forum for discussion.
Our communication- and information platform will support parents with disabilities to share and communicate primarily with the school but we also see opportunities that it could be used by businesses who run leisure activities and other public organisations where parents need to communicate about their children.
By testing the product with real users, with and without assistive technology, using Design for all principles basing it on the international guidelines WCAG 2.0, we will be able to ensure that the platform meets the highest requirements of accessibility. A communications platform developed under these principles will also be easier to use for everyone.
Funding: The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority’s innovation competition “Simplify for parents”
Period: September 2015 - May 2017
Budget: 1.7 MSEK (170 000 EUROS)
Funka has developed a prototype for an accessible communication platform serving parents and schools. The project , which has now been completed, was funded by the National Post and Telecom Agency's innovation competition.