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DESIGN RESEARCH Instrumenting Conducive Environments for the Visually Impaired Girls, India

The aim of the project was to make the environment more conducive for the visually impaired girls of the institution. Research included interviews and observations in how the visually impaired navigate the physical world. Research also explored ways in which spaces are defined and comprehended. The uniqueness of this approach lay in bringing together teachers, art and music instructors, the visually impaired students, and a highly supportive administration to become a part of this collaboration that culminated in a way-finding system that worked at many levels; primarily for the visually impaired but also for those that engaged with the school; the sighted teachers, staff, administration and the visitors. This collaboration and community involvement created a sense of ownership, pride and shared joy of creation. The project uses participatory techniques to involve audiences in the design process thereby making it democratic by ‘designing with’ as opposed to ‘design for’.

Neeta Verma
Associate Professor, Robert P. Sedlack Jr. Professor in Visual Communication... Notre Dame, IN