Over the summer break, Lexi, Year 12 extended their learning journey by joining an online conference hosted by 'We can access" a UK based charity focused on 'learning how to create accessible learning spaces'.
This online conference was a great extension to Inclusive Design Practices, User Centred Design, Human Factors and Ergonomics AND the United Nations Sustainable Development Group (UNSDG).
Lexi, Year 12 provides her reflection after attending the conference.
During the summer Holidays, I had the opportunity to take part in an online workshop with UK based charity, 'We Can Access'. This charity was founded by Husband and Wife, David and Emma Bara after their young daughter was diagnosed with a brain tumour. The purpose of this organisation was to create a space where people with disabilities, their families and carers, can find support share their stories, ideas and discover new ways to access the world around them.
I found the workshop eye opening, as it exposed me to think about inclusive design differently to how I had considered it in the past. If someone would have asked me before this seminar what accessibility was, I would have said something along the lines of 'making sure everyone could gain access to a venue with ease'. However, after this workshop, I now consider features such as lighting, furniture placement, colour, emotional, cultural and gender acceptance, visual impairments, as well as physical disabilities such as paralysis.
Throughout the workshop, we discussed and explored what inclusivity means and how a space is design to be inclusive, especially with an ever-developing population. From staircases to libraries to school layouts, we discussed and explored to what extend we can design a space that is easily usable for all while also being extremely functional.
Conversing with a small group of experts like David Bara and Mei-Yee, the Access and Inclusive Environment Lead for the UK bases design company, Arup, was very rewarding. I found this almost one-on-one type of learning, very beneficial for not only my personal interest, but also my Year 12 final design assignment, my major project, and my Extended Essay. It has given me many things to consider when furthering my exploration for these tasks, as well as several connections I am very grateful for. I am looking forward to seeing David and Mei-Yee again soon in another workshop!
Access to the conference for other interested students can be sourced here:
Article written by Lexi Parrish, Year 12