When design meets disability

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February 1, 2021 2:45 AM

NIFT students devise online platform to help children with intellectual disabilities cope with the pandemic

The lockdowns have had an adverse impact on children, with most being away from the classroom since March 2020.The lockdowns have had an adverse impact on children, with most being away from the classroom since March 2020.

A team of students from the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Mumbai, have launched an inclusive, e-learning tool that aims to help children with intellectual disabilities to adapt to the new normal using the power of stories. Developed with support from Special Olympics Bharat, the narrative platform provides social and emotional education to help children with learning challenges cope with social situations through customised animated stories.

The lockdowns have had an adverse impact on children, with most being away from the classroom since March 2020. This sudden transition to online learning and the rapid lifestyle shift has been particularly challenging for children with intellectual disabilities (ID). After interactions with Special Olympics Bharat athletes, NIFT Mumbai students Saloni Mhapsekar, Kritika Sharma and Gaurav Singh, along with their team of 15-plus people, came up with Typed Tales to address this issue. The final year students of Fashion Communication Strategy spent 16 weeks of research and conducted 180 hours of discussions and interviews to recognise the challenges being faced by people with ID and address them through innovative usage of design.

The multilingual platform is now live and offers free access to all.

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