Design a transmedia experience that rallies people on urgent social cause where the voices of underrepresented groups are expressed
5 weeks | 02.02 – 09.03.2023
5 people | Cyrus (Xiyuan) Han, Mansi Chottani, Mila Tawil and Sushil Suresh
Urgency of the issue
Lots of disabled people would argue that their impairments aren’t ‘invisible’ – it’s that no one is looking carefully enough.UAL Disability Services
Worldwide one billion individuals have a disability.
People with disabilities are also often deprived of their right to live independently…Human rights watch
65% do not have accessible applications
61% do not know how to cater for neurodivergents needs
74% lack understanding about neurodiversity
Stats according to Exceptional Individuals for Employers in the UK
Insights from the conducted interviews with neurodivergent individuals
The conducted interviews with neurodivergent people confirmed what we discovered in (Eccleston et al., 2019):
- Do not want to disclose their condition out of fear of discrimination and job loss. Instead, they try to fit into the current system finding their ways around it
- Annoyed by the received awkward treatment of neurotypical people when their condition is disclosed
Contemplating the future of work becoming increasingly digital and the growing significance of problem-solving and systems thinking, we acknowledged the crucial need to accommodate neurodivergent individuals in the workplace, as our research had brought to light the challenges they faced.
Upon analyzing companies of various sizes, we found that larger organizations such as NASA and Google had taken steps to accommodate neurodivergent individuals due to their available resources. As a result, we decided to focus on medium-sized to startup companies, which may not have as strong of a culture of accommodation for such individuals.
In order to catalyze a societal shift towards better inclusion of neurodivergent individuals, we pinpointed key leverage points to effect change. We were particularly drawn to the bottom-up approach, which suggests that if 3% of the population raises awareness about an issue, it can gain significant momentum.
Criteria for the outcome
We made a conscious effort to avoid oversimplifying the diverse experiences of neurodivergent individuals, based on received feedback and research highlighting the issue of not reducing them to just a binary category.
When representing neurodivergent individuals, we should design our artefacts in a way that accommodates their needs, even if they are not the target audience, which would promote a better understanding of their needs.
Our goal was to give neurodivergent individuals a platform to contribute to the campaign and amplify their underrepresented voices. To achieve this, we took a more generative approach and left room for interpretation, allowing for a wider range of perspectives and experiences to be included.
As suggested by (Stefánsdóttir & Traustadóttir, 2015) and (Clandinin & Raymond, 2006), enabling neurodivergent individuals to share their experiences and seeing others go through similar situations can empower them and influence the society around them.
Our team’s efforts to justify our decisions were extensive and paid off putting us on a good trajectory thanks to great teamwork.
Clandinin, D.J. and Raymond, H. (2006) “Note on narrating disability,” Equity & Excellence in Education, 39(2), pp. 101–104. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/10665680500541176.
Eccleston, L. et al. (2019) “Adolescent experiences of living with a diagnosis of ADHD: A systematic review and thematic synthesis,” Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties, 24(2), pp. 119–135. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/13632752.2019.1582762.
Stefánsdóttir, G.V. and Traustadóttir, R. (2015) “Life histories as counter-narratives against dominant and negative stereotypes about people with intellectual disabilities,” Disability & Society, 30(3), pp. 368–380. Available at: https://doi.org/10.1080/09687599.2015.1024827.
Read the full case study for the project!