The Challenge

838 followers

How might we design an accessible election experience for everyone? read the brief

Idea

Design for Onboarding (Tutorial), Habit-Building (Grind), and Mastery (Elder Game)

Starting with young people, design training and activities to build on previous knowledge using civic building exercises combined with awareness and empathy exercises to illuminate barriers to the process that exist for many.
The concept was based on the design challenge "How might we create flexibility in the voting process while building community and increasing long term knowledge" it was developed by Kelsey Ruger who sent me a summary of the work that his group did and the process that they built a framework for.  This description is based on that group work.

We want to address a few core issues that were raised - the age of poll workers and getting more young adults involved in the process of managing polls, start the disability and civic learning process started earlier with a combination of games, and hands-on-experience. We also want to provide a method for people to learn about dealing with disabilities at the polls outside of election season.

Design for Onboarding (Tutorial), Habit-Building (Grind), and Mastery (Elder Game) - Starting with young children, design the training and activities to build on previous knowledge using civic building exercises combined with exercises designed to raise awareness and empathy for those who don't have the same ability to access the process.

Portable Training Centers & Tools- Build pop-up training centers to teach kids how the civic process works in real-time. Also teach them accessibility awareness by introducing real disability issues at their polls that they must discuss and manage.

Ultimately we envisioned a series of age appropriate games, books, card decks and hands-on training kits that would be used at the elementary, middle school, high school and university levels. High School and college students would earn community service or college credit for volunteering at polls or teaching younger children as a part of the training. They would use the pop-up centers to model their voting process after what they will experience when they vote in the real world, hopefully reducing the confusion and problems they might experience at polls.
How will this concept improve election accessibility for everyone?
Working vision statement from the group: We believe that the best way to teach about equality and access for all is through action oriented learning. We want to create a services that enables cities and states to actively teach civic skills and an understanding of how to deal with disabilities. This will ultimately create a more universal voting process.
How well does this concept adapt to the changing needs of different voter communities?
The process of creating the training exercises will be designed for flexibility from the start. The core idea is to create adaptive trainings that are relevant to a wide range of settings and demographic groups. As a result, as the needs and technologies change to accommodate different voter communities, the exercise design will have built in mechanisms to respond to those changes.
What kinds of resources – whether time, money, people, partnerships, technology or otherwise – will be needed to get this concept off the ground?
The concept will require a fairly extensive community collaboration. First, a school based partner will be needed to pilot a program to add both elections and disability information to any general civics training (or creating something to fill the gap, if there is none). An experienced accessibility partner can help develop lesson plans along the lines of this concept. It may include several lessons for one age group such as middle school or more likely, lessons that span a few years. Next, a University research center partner would be helpful to design a methodology for measuring and evaluating any pilot that is launched. This might be someone with experience in disability, education, or political science or some combination. Ideal will be if training pilot would include people from the independent living centers to be sure that people with disabilities are included and actively involved in developing the concept - remember "nothing about us without us. It would also be very helpful to have a partner with elections experience to be the subject matter expert as the training content is developed. Such participation could help ensure that the lessons/activities are grounded in reality. Resources would therefore be needed to engage partners to participate and to compensate them for time invested in creating and piloting a few lessons as a way of proving the concept.
My Virtual Team
The primary inspiration was the team assembled in the face to face workshop in Atlanta that worked on the challenge "How might we create flexibility in the voting process while building community and increasing long term knowledge?" Another inspiration is the engineering/games lesson plans in TryEngineering. They are complete packages that teachers can adopt, complete with all the educational alignment info: http://tryengineering.com/lesson.php On OpenIDEO, the inspirations have come primarily from the "Explore through Empathy" and "Understand the Democratic Process". A Gerontological Approach was an especially inspiring piece as well as My Voice, My Vote .

Comments

Join the conversation and post a comment.

Edmund Ng

November 12, 2013, 15:53PM
This definitely looks like something that can gain traction pretty fast. One of the biggest problems in US is learning. The inability to grasp phonics at a young age results in learning disorders with the help of the 60+ vaccines that are being administered before a child turns 16.

It's always good to be able to do active learning. Building blocks such as Lego triggers much visualization prowess. The ability to create and quickly see the end product tends to create a mind of infinite possibilities.


Edmund Ng
http://www.internetempire.com.sg

Ann Tyler

April 22, 2012, 20:58PM
Lots of great ideas Sharron. One of my favorite elements is involving young people in the election polling process. When you think about the voting centers, the thought that comes to mind is older men and women who have administered the testing forever. They are often grumpy and don't make you feel any better about yourself for voting that day. I think allowing some younger people to learn from these people and offer a new sense of excitement and education to the process could help both parties. Allowing these kids to earn community service hours is a great idea. This could also be a great resume builder for a high school student trying to be accepted into college. Every little bit helps and if they can help inform other kids about the election process while earning community service credit while improving their chances of getting into college, it sounds like a win all around.

Paul Reader

March 29, 2012, 02:13AM
Sharron, wonderful to see this concept amongst the winners. Education at all levels is so fundamental and although this has a principle focus in the election process it represents a model for raising accessibility awareness in other areas too. I hope to be able to follow the progress of this concept into the realisation phase.

Paul Reader

March 21, 2012, 03:14AM
Hi Sharron - really great concept.
Sorry I haven't got here until now.
I can see this linking in with Annie's Voter Help Hub
( http://www.openideo.com/open/voting/concepting/voter-help-hub/ ) and the other support networks.
Would also see some condensed version forming information available in polling places, especially if we could successfully implement queue management so this could be something available for people to interact with while waiting their turn.

Meena Kadri

March 19, 2012, 22:28PM
One thing I'd love to have clarified here is what "Grind" refers to in the title of your post. "Tutorial" + "Elder Game" I can understand but "Grind" has me stumped.

Paul Reader

March 21, 2012, 03:02AM
Hi Meena I read it as related to spaced repetition and other methods of internalising/owning understanding of the process. Usually involves lots of practice (like learning a musical instrument) but would be good if Sharron could clarify it.

Meena Kadri

March 19, 2012, 22:26PM
Tip: If you hit the Update button on the right of your post you could go in and add relevant posts that you've mentioned in your Virtual Team field to your Build Upon feature. That way the people who wrote them will get an email notification and are likely to come and join the brilliant conversation you've started here as well. Creativity loves company, right? :^)

Whitney Quesenbery

March 16, 2012, 20:52PM
One of the things that I like about this concept is the emphasis on long-term knowledge. We've had a lot of discussions about the challenges of helping today's poll workers interact more effectively with people with disabilities (see Let the App Decide). It's intriguing to think about how we build this awareness across society.

I also like the idea that education about disabilities is woven into a broader curriculum. Many of the schools in my area require community service - working in elections would be a great way to not only get students involved in solving problems in new ways, but give them a better view of what it means to be an engaged citizen.

OpenIDEO

March 15, 2012, 20:47PM
Congrats on this post joining our Top 20 shortlist! We really enjoyed the time and effort the workshop team put into this concept and love that it reaches kids at such an important time in their own development.

During this Refinement phase, it might be fun to think about how to start designing these educational materials – maybe by interviewing an elementary school teacher, for instance? Let's start building out what this program might actually look like. For more information on specific ways to iterate and update your concept, check http://bit.ly/oi_voterefine and http://www.bit.ly/oi_refine.

Kelsey Ruger

March 13, 2012, 15:09PM
Our group was really passionate about this idea because we thought it would allow us to fully explore the idea of accessibility while giving citizens hands-on experience with the voting process from an early age.

Meena Kadri

March 11, 2012, 21:23PM
Great stuff Sharron! Tip: If you hit the Update button on the right of your post you could go in and add posts which inspired you like My Voice, My Vote to your Build Upon feature. That way the people who wrote them will get an email notification and are likely to come and join the brilliant conversation you've started here as well. Creativity loves company, right? :^)

Sharron Rush

March 13, 2012, 16:13PM
Meena, I tried to add the URLs to these inspirations https://openideo.com/open/voting/inspiration/a-gerontological-approach-new-york/ and https://openideo.com/open/voting/inspiration/my-voice-my-vote but when the Update published, it did not appear.

Meena Kadri

March 13, 2012, 20:02PM
Sorry to hear that Sharron. Would be great if you could send us a ticket via our Support tab (on the left of most pages of our site) and give us details about what's happening when you try this. That way someone at our helpdesk can assist you to get things sorted.
Login
Close
Login to OpenIDEO
 
or