Project Title: AccommodateNow
Role: Strategic Design - UX/UI Design & Research
Skills: Discovery & Research, Journey Maps, Interviews/Testing, Concepts, Competitive, Analysis, Blueprint, Video Production
Timeframe: Eight Weeks
Tools: Figma, Google Workspace, & Zoom
Team: Gizelle Hurtado, Julia Engfer, & Drew Hemnes
“Let’s create better communication by mobilizing students and DSPS to improve their collegiate success.”
Our prototype’s big idea is that it will simplify the amount of time needed to meet with a counselor. Students with disabilities can receive their accommodations more efficiently at the beginning of each semester, improving communications between DSPS and the professors—holding everyone accountable. We’ve designed a community board where students can connect with fellow students. Here, they can also find, ask, and reply to commonly asked questions. We have implemented a verification system into our community board where DSPS can respond with an official answer or verify another student’s response.
AccommodateNow sets up a process where students can submit their queries. With the built-in upvoting system, a question can gain attention by DSPS as it is deemed relevant by popular demand. This process will improve the students’ independence and make new friends based on shared goals. At the end of each semester, the student needs to submit another form. AccommodateNow can store the students’ information, such as their previously approved accommodations—saving the student time each semester when signing up.
Maya is part of DSPS, The Disabled Students Program & Services program at SMC. At the beginning of each semester, they have to go to the DSPS office to book a meeting with a counselor, and in that meeting, Maya selects the accommodations they would like to use for each class that semester. The problem with this is that there are 11 counselors for the 1800+ students that are part of DSPS. Receiving an appointment could take up to two weeks. This delay creates an issue with many students trying to get an appointment to receive accommodations.
Our solution for Beyond12 seeks to solve communication issues between DSPS counselors and students. To mobilize students, we are streamlining the process for receiving accommodations.
We will know that AccommodateNow is successful when students get their accommodations in one week instead of 2-3 weeks. Since using this app, DSPS is delegating their services, and they have time for the students who need assistance, such as picking a class schedule or transfer schedule. Given our research, we would recommend Beyond12 creates a feature that accommodates students with disabilities. Although we know that Beyond12 invests in their students, they may be overlooking students with disabilities. To move forward with our idea, we recommend Beyond12 to collaborate with SMC’s DSPS program to allow more time for students who need other counseling. By implementing our service, we’re not only creating an easy-to-use, organized, and informational database for DSPS students, we’re making a home where students with disabilities can visit to connect with counselors, professors, and, most notably, other students.