Together with Norwegian and Finnish disability organizations, Funka will contribute to giving people with disabilities the chance to participate in product development in a better way. Nordic Welfare Center is funding a new research project.
Many people agree on the importance of involving users with different needs and conditions for products and services to work for everyone. Some research funding and innovation contests even require that those who receive project grants engage users with disabilities to ensure good accessibility. User involvement is also an important part of the European Web Accessibility Directive.
However, there are still many development projects that do not involve people with disabilities (or users at all). Of course, this means that the result will be less successful and often questions about accessibility are completely lost. Often, costly changes must be made afterwards. Which is of course expensive, stupid and bad. We want to change this.
Mapping, exchange of experiences and support
Together with the Norwegian umbrella organization for disability organizations, FFO, and the Finnish user organization for persons with intellectual disabilities, KVL, we will conduct surveys and a joint workshop to highlight the current situation and propose improvements.
We would like to underline the importance of this project, since user participation is crucial in order to achieve user-friendly results in relevant ICT-projects, says Cato Lie, Senior Adviser in the Norwegian Disabled People's Joint Organization (FFO).
In addition to mapping and exchanging experiences in the Nordic countries, the concrete result of the project will be two checklists:
- a checklist for companies and authorities / municipalities with tips on what to consider when involving users
- a checklist for users and user organizations with tips on what questions and requirements they can ask to improve the experience for individuals who want to help
This feels like an important and exciting project, says Jakob Hasslöw, Research Coordinator at Funka. We look forward to being able to contribute to more user involvement in different sectors.
Funding: Nordic Welfare Center
Period: May 2020 - June 2021
Consortium: Funka (Project Manager), Disabled People's Joint Organization (Norway), Kehitysvammaliitto ry (The Finnish Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities)
Budget: 9 000 EURO