According to the Royal National Institute of Blind People. “Every day 250 people start to lose their sight in the UK. As of 2015, more than two million people in the UK are living with sight loss that is severe enough to have a significant impact on their daily lives, such as not being able to drive.” Plus “As of 2014, there are around 350,000 people registered as blind or partially sighted in the UK. This is approximately 290,000 in England; 16,500 in Wales; around 8000 in Northern Ireland and 34,000 in Scotland (2010 figures). “
This impact also affects the individuals ability to access vital day to day health service.
We are witnessing a shift in how public sector is providing services for the public, the shift from physical services to online, digital connected services. Here at Bitjam we have been exploring this shift and attempting to understand it from the perspective of people with visual impairments.
To explore this area, we have been working with Klaudia Suchowiak who is a blind person studying her third year at Keele University. Klaudia has dedicated her time through an internship to explore this and create a series of articles highlighting the challenges of accessing public services faced by visually impaired people.
The articles will also draw on experiences of where public services and especially digital services have got things right.
You can access the article free via the link below, all we ask is you pay back with a Tweet or LinkedIn post saying thank you
Over the next few weeks, Klaudia will be reviewing the applications and software we have designed and are currently working on, this will help us to better understand how our design principles and understanding can and will have a positive impact on end users.
We want to thank Klaudia for her amazing work with Bitjam, also Keele University for creating this opportunity plus Santander for their involvement in setting up the programme that has enabled this to happen.
The views in this article are personal to the author and reflect their experience without bias from Bitjam Limited.
We are pleased to announce we have been shortlisted for the ‘Partnership with the NHS award’ at the Medilink Medical & Healthcare Business Awards which will be held on Thursday 7 February 2019.
Our partners for the Beable project was Combined Healthcare NHS Trust working specifically with a group of patients managing their vascular wellbeing.
This project resonates with staff at Bitjam as it involved co-ordinating and collaborating with patients and NHS staff in the design and shaping of new digital services for the Trust.
We are only too aware of the challenges in engaging in true co-production and co-creativity, especially with the public and frontline staff who invest their valuable time to be involved in new digital service design. We are thankful for the time taken by the staff and patients to help shape the Beable project through the prototyping stage.
So, whether we bring back the award to Staffordshire or not, we feel the positive recognition so far should be something our partners should be proud of!
From Bitjam, thank you.
Previous award for Beable
DID YOU KNOW: The Beable project was also highly commended for innovation by the NHS at a previous award ceremony in 2018.
During the last 18 months we have been working in partnership with Universities and businesses across the EU on research funded by the European Union under the Erasmus+ programme. The project is called Destiny.
The project has a focus on developing employability skills through innovative education using “MOOC’s” – Massive Open Online Courses- for youth. Bitjam’s role has ranged from gathering and analysing Mooc data, developing the web platform and recently developing the Destiny Mooc learning management system, with a launch date soon to be announced.
So who would benefit from such a wealth of learning resources, available at their fingertips and free to access? We believe that Destiny will be extremely useful to those who want to hone in on particular skills, allowing them to build upon their existing knowledge of certain subjects, industries or areas in order to further their careers. The end user may currently be unemployed, and wants to learn new skills that will give them the confidence to pursue careers above and beyond what they feel they could currently aim for. Students who have graduated with a degree in a broad subject, and want to further their education from home to help them land their dream job. Somebody who wants to further their hobbies and interests in to a career, or perhaps start on a completely new career path to the one they’re currently following.
A Personalised Learning Environment
The Destiny Mooc learning management system is based on the popular Moodle with a key focus on mobile accessibility. In case you missed it, Moodle is a learning platform designed to provide educators, administrators and learners with a single robust, secure and integrated system to create personalised learning environments. Bitjam worked with Universities and businesses in Greece, Spain, Slovenia and the UK in the requirements-gathering and development phases. For a number of partners this was the first time they had developed virtual learning courses, therefore it was important to work with them through the stages of preparing the course material as well as building the courses within the platform. There was a lot to get through in a short space of time!
Further work will be carried out on the platforms based on user testing and feedback.