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Aalborg hackathon project presented during 'Gebruiker Centraal' Festival

Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - Published by Renske Stumpel
Aalborg Municipality organized a hackathon with and for citizens with learning disabilities in September 2018. Learnings from this workshop were presented during the 'Gebruiker Centraal' Festival in Zoetermeer, a large Dutch conference (over 500 visitors) on digital local government. Citizens spoke about topics which were relevant for their welfare and daily life.

Workshop during the 'Gebruiker Centraal' Festival in Zoetermeer

During the workshop Aalborg presented the pilot. The pilot involved intensive preparation for the hackathon and led to the following 4 insights:

  1. Independence and self-confidence among participants
  • Through genuine involvement the citizens could handle much more than they thought they could.
  1. Capacity building among professionals
  • From a care perspective to a development perspective.
  1. Insight into citizens' demands and competences in relation to technology
  • One size do not fit all and competences are not determined by diagnoses.
  1. Concrete initiatives and suggestions in terms of technology
  • An online catalog of suitable apps
  • IT-support (IT café, individual support, IT education)
  • Smart glasses as a personal guide
  • Virtual Reality as a way to make exercises more attractive

 Key findings for those who want to work with citizens with learning disabilities:

  • People with learning disabilities have lots of resources – use them throughout the coproduction process
  • Make it very clear (both in words, actions, and with concrete symbols) that you have listened to your peer board
  • Visualisation is important for this target group. So think about this while preparing interaction. The plan, the structure and the discussion needs to be visualized.
  • Take enough time in your planning for small talk and use physical activities, a way to interact with each other and to create more energy during the contact with this target group.