GIAN 2023 - Disability Interactions and Innovations

MHRD Scheme on Global Initiative on Academic Network (GIAN)


Disability Interactions & Innovations

1.0 Overview


Creative solutions which allow disabled people to use computers and technology more broadly are usually captured under the term ‘accessibility’. They can be categorised into: (i) assistive technology (AT) targeted at a specific person or a subset of people and (ii) inclusive (universal) design approaches which incorporate accessible design features into the mainstream product or service. With an ageing population, there is a need for an increased focus on designs which can accommodate the needs of disabled people to contribute to society fully. 

Disability has often spurred designers to create novel technology that became universal; for example, the typewriter and the commercial email client originated from a need to communicate with blind and deaf people. The design constraints imposed by disability have pushed ingenuity to thrive within the design process. Recent technological advances in AI, the Internet of Things and pervasive computing provide great scope for designers and researchers to explore this symbiosis when considering future innovations for disability and society at large. This course explores the new approach of Disability Interaction (DIX), which combines challenge-based design with user-centred design principles to push the boundaries of the possible.



2.0 Objectives


The primary objectives of the course are as follows:


i)     Exposing participants to the fundamentals of user-centered design principles and challenge-based design

ii)    Building in confidence and capability amongst the participants in capturing user needs, turning these into insights and problem statements which can be used to drive innovations.

iii)   Providing exposure to practical problems and their solutions, through case studies and live projects in disability interaction and innovation,

iv)   Demonstrating novel routes to market and the ability to scale solutions through case study examples.

v)    Enhancing the capability of the participants to identify and solve challenges for society which enables more inclusive societies.


3.0  Teaching Faculty with Allotment of Lectures and Tutorials


4.0 Course details


4.1 Tentative Duration:  Sep 24 – Sep 29, 2023 (5 days) : 14 hrs lectures and 5 hrs tutorials


4.2 Tentative Lecture Schedule


(If you agree to offer this course also as MOOC, then design the lecture modules as per MOOC format for smooth conversion to MOOC)


Day 1

Lecture 1: 1 hrs: CH                  

User-centred design for disability interactions: An introduction


Lecture 2: 1 hrs: CH

Design Methods for disability interactions. How to capture user needs when working with people with disabilities; the role of disabled people’s organisations; ethics.


Lecture 3: 1 hrs: CH

Design Methods for disability interactions continued…


Tutorial 1: 1 hrs: CH  

Design challenge 1 -  Creating design ideas from initial problem statements.



Day 2

Lecture 4 : 1 hrs: CH

Accessibility, universal design (barrier-free design) of physical environments

Lecture 5:  1 hrs: CH

         Accessibility, universal design (barrier-free design) of digital environments

Lecture 6: 1 hrs: CH

         Accessibility, universal design (barrier-free design): international case studies


Tutorial 2: 1 hrs: CH  

         Design Challenge 2 – Learning to assess accessibility


Day 3

Lecture 7: 1 hrs: CH

         Disability Interactions for assistive technology design 

Lecture 8:  1 hrs: CH

Designing testing protocols for assistive technology user-testing


Lecture 9:  1 hrs: SS

Case Study: Design of a Standing Wheelchair


Tutorial 3: 1 hrs: CH

         Development of testing protocols for two new assistive products


Day 4

Lecture 10: 1 hrs: CH       

Inclusive innovation - what does it take to get to market when there might be a large need but no demand (i.e. no one to pay)


Lecture 11: 1 hrs: CH

Innovation development partnerships


Lecture 12: 1 hrs: CH

How to develop successful business development & marketing plans


Tutorial 4: 1 hrs: CH  

         Innovation challenge – development of a business plan for a new assistive technology


Day 5

Lecture 13: 1 hrs: CH



Lecture 14: 1 hrs: CH

Social Development Theory  - Why do we do disability innovation


Tutorial 5: 1 hrs

         Measuring success


Date of Examination: Sep 29, 2023

The course will be offered as a MOOC as well. For MOOC self-assessment, short quizzes will be developed for the different modules. Live interactive sessions could also be conducted with local and foreign faculty participation.

5.0 Who can attend