About the project
Removing Barriers is a learning tool I designed, initially for the use as a teaching aid within the DET (Disability Equality Training), which I deliver.
The tool has developed from a very crude paper copy with things to stick on which I used to assist in the delivery of Disability equality training courses, to a fully usable learning tool with a copyright which works on a similar basis to Monopoly. The tool has been developed using my own knowledge as I have a post grad certificate in disability studies and I am also a wheelchair user myself. I also had advice from specialist groups such as the Royal National Institute for the Blind, to ensure the information included in the game play is accurate and relevant.When the game was developed a famous disabled artist Dave Crippen (www.daveluptoncartoons.co.uk) designed the artwork for the boardgame.
The ‘game play’ is used to highlight the serious topic of removing the barriers in society which disabled people face. The learning tool is a fun way to learn lots of information in a unique format, which can be played with groups of people or as few as five making the learning more flexible and competitive. It has been played by members of the council, the NHS, schools, and the voluntary sector. I have used the game to inform and provoke a change in thought processes where necessary as it challenges some people’s beliefs that they grew up with. I have always had really good feedback when it has been used and people reinforced that they enjoyed this rather than death by powerpoint!
The learning tool has centres which can be ‘purchased’ and has community resource cards and a forfeit of going into the institute, instead of going into jail! This section is used for a discussion to take place about the history of disabled people.
All discussion points, and the correct answers and their rationale and all other relevant information including instructions are provided with each copy of the game. This enables an update to be easily available when things change as they tend to do with health related issues, which reduces cost for the purchaser as the whole game will not need to be repurchased.
I was shortlisted for the Medipex innovation award 2014 under the category of Mental Health, however there are four other topic areas covered which are physical, visual, hearing, and learning difficulties.
Currently I only have one copy of the learning tool which I use. Although I do plan to get more produced with the funds raised though Crowdfunding and sell them within the health and social care sector I am wishing to sell the games to general public for the first time at Toyopia a toy fair held in Liverpool, in October. I would also like to produce an online version as this is a way forward.