Accessible communication for disabled parents
With funding from the National Post and Telecom Agency's Innovation Competition, Funka has developed a prototype for a communication platform that makes it easier for parents with disabilities to take part in their children's schooling.
I regularly perceive how annoyingly bad today's school systems are, says Johan Kling, Head of quality and consultants at Funka.
The increased digitization within education has made it easier for parents to get information about children's schooling. At the same time, the spread of different web solutions and communication platforms means that new demands are placed on both parents and children.
Digital solutions can bring great benefits, but unfortunately today's solutions often have significant shortcomings when it comes to accessibility. Interconnected interfaces make it difficult to perform everyday tasks such as reading schedules or reporting absenteeism. This means there is a risk for disabled parents, children and teachers to be excluded from the digital school environment.
Easier to find the right information
In the Funka for Parents project, Funka has developed a prototype for a digital communication platform for schools with an interface that simplifies contact with the school. This facilitates everyday life for all parents, regardless of ability.
To ensure a high level of accessibility, we have invited users with varying abilities to test drafts, concepts and prototypes. The project has focused on a number of standard functions for similar platforms such as class lists and school menu, absence reports and booking of meetings with teachers and school nurses. One goal has been that it must be easy to find and easy to use the features. By testing and changing gradually in an agile process, we have been able to make sure, for example, that the navigation has improved, which has been of great importance to the user experience.
When we simplified the menu and added a shortcut, many more test users thought the platform was easy to use, continues Johan Kling. The increased clarity made a big difference, and many test users wanted their schools to introduce similar solutions.
Great demand for accessible solutions in the school environment
During the project we have presented the prototype for various primary schools, including in connection with user tests. The response has been very positive and we have noticed that there is both a great need for and an interest in accessible platforms for communication between schools and parents. For disabled parents, an accessible platform means that they can take part in the education of their children without having to ask for help or use special solutions. Since there is an interest from schools to facilitate all parents to engage in the school work of their children, this should be of great interest to many schools.
Therefore, we will continue to work with schools on these issues in order to spread the insights and experiences gained through the project.
Sara KjellstrandTitle: Research Strategist
firstname.lastname@example.org (Sara Kjellstrand)