I was assigned a group project a few weeks ago, where we had to find an area in my school that did not offer their services with ease of accessibility to the average student and especially to the extreme user such as (a blind, deaf, or a student with mental illness). We chose to investigate our student association, also known as the SA.
It resides on the second floor of the college, its a few thousand square feet, its a large space, divided into board rooms, study areas, a large computer lab, games room, and the office of the student associators. But after some student polls, and research into what the SA provides, we realized that most students do not know about all of these services and more, such as,
– school food bank
– legal services
– rideshare program
and percents off of at certain stores!
After all our research and time placed into constructing a presentation, I learned a couple of new things especially about group work. One being that in order to work great as a group you need to get to know each other, so sometimes just talking and laughing made the group tighter knit, and we worked better together. I also learned that in the end everything comes together somehow, no matter what time retrains or personal ones there might be.
We did some reasearch, one being an online student poll, another was an email interview with an administrator in the accessibility department, and an interview with the president of the SA. I personally found that hearing from the students themselves was the most successful. Students are the audience which the SA is trying to reach, therefore I believe their opinion is the most important and should be seriously listened to. The least useful research may have been the advice of the administrator in the accessibility department, not because he was not knowledgable. but because his answers varied greatly from the students. So it made me think that somewhere along the line there was a missing link, or broken communication on what students need, and, want.
In the end I was very surprised about the needs of the extreme user, such needs being having an accessible website, where they can scan through with voice overlay. I never knew that website could be formatted for the blind to use. I think this is a really wonderful idea and a responsible approach.
FINALLY! I really want to hear what my readers think needs to be made more accessible in your community? Either to an everyday user or an extreme user. Post your thoughts!
Till next time!