Block Scheduler for Visually Impaired Kids by Annabelle Zhang

COURSE: Art 448: Graphic Design for Accessibility

MEDIUM: 3D Modeling/3D Printing

Daily schedules and planners for kids in the market rely predominantly on visual design elements. A design that supports visually impaired kids to feel the time moving through the day is important. It encourages independence, provides agency, and helps the kid to develop time management skills for their success.

This project seeks to bridge the gap in daily scheduling tools for visually impaired kids, introducing a playful and tactile method with Lego-based elements to foster time management skills at home and offer accessible support. Inspired by my frustrations with the rigid structure of paper schedulers, I sought to make time management as engaging and exciting as the dynamic nature of toy play, not a forced exercise, for kids. This aspiration has led me to create a starter kit for a tactile 3D schedule.

The design features three core elements: tactile task icons, days of the week with raised lettering, and standard Lego bricks as habit trackers. The 4×4 tactile icon blocks were created using Tinkercad and adhered to the 4×4 standard Lego brick size to ensure compatibility with the Lego baseplates. Each icon was designed to represent a fundamental task typically performed by a child at home and integrate with available 2×2 and 2×4 Lego bricks on the market that serve as habit trackers or time slot fillers.

The evolution of this project involved iterative design, and user testing was conducted at the Winter Design Festival as part of the M.S. Design + Innovation program. My design goal is to merge practicality with playfulness, thereby motivating young users to actively engage with their daily schedules in a way that is both enjoyable and meaningful, fostering a supportive environment within the family household.

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