Aurion Learning created a highly accessible and engaging eLearning solution for architectural professionals to understand how to incorporate Universal Design into their practice.
The National Disability Authority (NDA) is the independent statutory body, providing evidence-based advice and research to Government on disability policy and practice and promoting Universal Design in Ireland. The Centre for Excellence in Universal Design (CEUD) is a statutory unit within the National Disability Authority.
It’s main areas of activity include the development and promotion of guidance, standards, education and awareness of Universal Design. Universal Design is the design and composition of an environment so that it can be accessed, understood and used to the greatest extent possible by all people, regardless of their age, size or disability.
The NDA had a requirement to support and encourage architectural professionals in Ireland to integrate Universal Design into their architectural practice. They wanted to demonstrate the benefits of embedding Universal Design throughout the design process, using a case study approach. They also wanted to support architectural professionals to develop their knowledge and awareness of diverse user needs and how they relate to Universal Design guidance.
NDA needed to find a way of meeting these requirements through digital learning. Previous research had identified that digital learning would allow them to deliver learning at scale, making it easily accessible to a wider audience. It would also allow them to showcase what good Universal Design in practice looked like, by using the Central Bank of Ireland building as an exemplar within the eLearning solution.
The goal was to create a self-paced, eLearning intervention that was both engaging and accessible, and showcased the very best of Universal Design in Ireland, providing learners with a sense of the positive impact it had on building users, in their day-to-day lives.
Using their subject matter expertise and our learning design-focused approach, we collaborated with the NDA to truly understand the target audience and how we could develop a targeted solution that would meet their needs and ensure maximum impact. As a result, we developed a custom eLearning module on Universal Design, hosted on an intuitive, user-friendly learning management platform.
The eLearning module was created using our accessible framework called Aurion High5, which enabled us to incorporate a high level of design whilst building a high level of accessibility throughout. This included Irish Sign Language (ISL) and audio descriptions to ensure the client’s needs were met. The eLearning module is highly interactive and packed with core learning content focused on delivering behavioural change. It also scales to fit any device, providing a seamless learning journey from platform to content and takes 60 minutes to complete.
The module design includes high-quality animated videos and real-world interviews with key stakeholders involved in the design of the Central Bank of Ireland, as well as with building users. This gives a range of perspectives on how Universal Design shapes spaces and shows the benefits of implementing Universal Design principles.
Aurion provided a full project-managed development service with rigorous quality processes in place. Our established methodology effectively implemented high-quality digital learning, which produced significant positive outcomes for the NDA.
Aurion’s highly skilled team provided a consultative approach to the design and development of the digital learning intervention, that helped the NDA meet their goals. Aurion remained responsive to the client’s evolving requirements as the project progressed.
The NDA’s vision was brought to life and made available to architectural professionals across Ireland as a free digital learning resource.
Since its launch, the NDA has been delighted with the results it has seen, with 93% of people who completed the module stating it had motivated them to learn more about Universal Design.
97% of people also reported they would recommend the module to a colleague, thus ensuring they can continue to spread the word on Universal Design in practice.
Meeting its core goal of educating architects on Universal Design, the module will help support NDA's vision of creating a more inclusive society.