Company: Drake Music
Drake Music is the leading national organisation working in music, disability and technology.
We have been in the Website Design / Multimedia business for over 12 years. We are based in Newry, but work with clients from all around the world. We deliver high quality services in several different areas, Whether the project we undertake is for an individual, a small or big business, we will work closely with you during the design process to better understand your products/services and help you solve problems and achieve goals.
Drake Music NI – signposting for support
We want to merge the world of assistive technology properly with mainstream platforms and afford true integration to the digital world for people with disabilities. We want this app to give support channels to the very wide variety of people who need access to technology advice, companies, repair options, compatibility advice and support.
On the route from a good access switch that a person uses to the successful independent control of a piece of software by that same person, there are many specialisms, choices, training, tech steps and peer hints and tips that can be read and found useful, indeed critical to the successful choice of an integrated and well supported solution for that person with disabilities. Once the access is sorted and the switch and the platform are married well, there is the need for continued support, repairs, maintenance, training and that is where access to training, companies of suppliers, workshop choices, peer association and therapy associations can all feed in – and all be accessed through this app.
Wider than a signposting app, we want to eventually support a forum for communication, questions, discussions and peer advice and association, for professional advice and communication. We aim to provide evolving content, as the technology develops, and new and exciting options and interfaces become available for the community of users who have disabilities and rely on good quality functioning interfacing to interact with their world, on social media, on creative platforms, gaming platforms, communications platforms, employment software environments, medical interventions etc.
The scope for integration of this app across many professional teams, therapy professions, teaching and learning, transport access and back to work support networks and peer learning is very exciting and could easily be grown across professions, sectors, age groups and languages seamlessly and without huge cost barriers.
The challenge for the Drake music project is to have a place where all their users can find transparent and independent access to solving problems, answering queries, getting actual support, advice and communication from a wide variety of sources and resources available in the app which can signpost, inform, support, list training and workshop opportunities and act as a forum.
We have worked to streamline the action of fact finding, for people with disabilities and their peer and support network. This has resulted in us developing frameworks for how people with particular natures of disabilities search for information. We have developed threads for actionables for people with learning disabilities, threads for people with sensory disabilities, threads for people with physical access issues, threads for support workers who have a very different and time precious search protocol. The complex and at times intertwined ways that different people with very varied cognitive pathways and expectations of websites use them has been a challenging learning curve. We met with a test group and immediately our workload tripled when we listened to the expectations, frustrations and very unexpected ways that our user groups and their peers and support network have to go about finding the resources, products, support and activities that they seek.
We have aimed very high in terms of accessibility for the presentation and thread tracking on our site, and also for the colour aspects of roll overs and shading, considering the effect on our visitors with sensory issues.
Because of the commitment we have made to full accessibility in terms not only of access, but content revision, content categories and research discussions, we are confident that our site will enhance the lives of our users, and community of support, professionals and peer visitors to our site. The ‘conversational’ element of the site, which we plan through forums and community signins, will support review, comment and feedback aspects; will continue to develop and organically grow to become one that users can access, review content, easily submit content for consideration, and will all in turn derive quality information and signposting with critical and managed peer reviews and updates.