Observation & Reflection (due by end of quarter)

Much of this quarter will likely be spent inventing and building accessibile technology, and you may not have time to also do the sort of participatory design project that would ideally ensure that your technology fully reflects your target user. This project is your opportunity to focus on learning rather than building, observing rather than inventing. Even if you already have a disability or have worked closely with people with disabilities before, you can always learn something new from going out into the field.

Up to 3 students at a time will attend a demo/ eval events involving assistive technology. I am still gathering details for this including timing and length.

During a device demonstration, students will have the opportunity to observe one of WATAP’s assistive technology specialists provide a guided exploration of the features and options of AT devices with the purpose of helping individuals with disabilities to make informed decisions and a confident choices about what AT would meet their functional needs. Evaluations are similar, but using information including the individual’s history, skills, decision and choice, environmental considerations, etc, the specialist will provide a written recommendation on what AT should be considered for purchase. You will have an opportunity to see the process of what information and considerations are used to make these recommendations.

At the end you should write a short reflection (about 1 page) about your experience. This reflection should touch on the following topics:

  • What did you observe (what stood out to you as interesting about the space, people, and task that you engaged with? Were there things that worked particularly well? Were there breakdowns?)
  • What did you learn (did you learn something about accessible technologies? Anything that might inform your approach to research?)

The grading rubric for this assignment is as follows. Please fill it out yourself, and ask a classmate to fill out and sign it. When points are 1 or 0, this is pass fail (no nuance). When points are 0-3, use the following scale: 0 – No answer to question; 1 – Short shallow answer to question; 2 – Good answer to question; 3 – Outstanding answer to question.

Points Description Comments (by grader)
1 or 0Student attended observation
0-3Paragraph on what was observed
0-3Paragraph on what was learned

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