Accessible Design for Pirates

Pirates face a large number of accessibility issues! They can have eye-patches, wooden legs, hooks, and parrots squacking in their ears. Pirates are also really cool! How can we design the bridge for an accessible pirate ship? This workshop is used to introduce accessible design principles by comparing some accessibility areas to problems that are faced by the modern day pirate. The workshop starts with a simple activity where participants are asked to carry out some tasks using technology whilst simulating pirate impairments. This then moves on to discuss the problems that pirates may have in using technology because of the impairments that they have and final how technology can be adapted to overcome these problems.

The purpose of this workshop is to act as an introduction to accessible design for school aged children. We've taken the idea of pirates and have come up with a way of relating accessible areas to some of the everyday problems that the modern pirate may face. This workshop should take no more than 1 hour to complete and is a combination of individual and pair activities.

Card image cap
Accessible Design for Pirates
Workshop Material
Activity 1 Worksheet Activity 2 Worksheet Activity 3 Worksheet Workshop Slides

Workshop Description

The workshop begins with a brief introduction to some of the accessibility problems that pirates have and discusses how we can use pirates to move away from designing for 'people-like-me'.

Activity 1

The first activity gives participants a chance to face some of the issues that pirates may face. This simple activity is used as an ice-breaker to introduce the concept that not all activities can be completed by everyone.

Activity 2

The second activity allows participants to think about a piece of technology that they use every day and to discuss some of the problems that may exist if a pirate was to use this instead. Partipants are then encouraged to come up with solutions to these problems and to discuss how technology can be adapted to overcome accessibility challenges.

Activity 3

In the third activity, participants are shown the bridge of a modern day ship and some of the different pieces of technology that are present on this. Participants are then asked to discuss what aspects of this would be difficult for a pirate to use and to then pick one piece of this technology to redesign and make more accessible.

Workshop Development

Each workshop that we create goes through several stages of development to make sure that it is covering the aspects that we intended it to.

Development Stage Notes
Idea Generation Idea generation phase for this workshop was conducted in Spring 2017
Workshop Layout Workshop layout phase for this workshop was completed in Spring 2017
Resource Creation Resources for this workshop were created in early 2018 as part of ongoing outreach activities within our academic institutions
Pilot Testing Pilot testing of this workshop has occured with a total of 4 sessions run with classes of around 25-30 pupils each.
Workshop Roll Out Resrouce creation phase for this workshop was conducted in Spring 2017
Data Analysis Planned for early 2019
Paper Generation Planned for 2019