Innovation for Independence

Finalist Updates #4: How Do I? - Create, present, improve, repeat

Publish date:
16/03/2016 - 12:50pm
Last updated:
16/03/2016 - 12:50pm

‘This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.’ Winston Churchill

Two of the four members of the How Do I? project team work in a school for young people with SEN, and a third acts as a school governor. Three quarters of us spend a good chunk of our lives in an educational setting, and a deadline in educational settings tends to mean, in some small way, that your work is done. You've handed in assessments, or a draft of a report, and although teaching and learning means continually building upon what’s been developed, there is a certain finality to an ending. The final tap of a keyboard, the click of a mouse, a heartfelt sigh of relief; we imagined the competition deadline to be something like this, familiar ground. More stressful than exciting, more anxiety inducing than opportunity giving, and requiring a certain degree of dogged perseverance in the face of competing pressures and unexpected complications.

All that in mind, we’ve been pleased to discover that wrapping up the Inclusive Technology Prize feels nothing like what we expected. There isn’t a single ending in sight and instead, we are looking at opportunities beyond what we might have dreamed to expect prior to being selected as finalists. The prize has supported the development of our app in both tangible and intangible ways, from Tom’s video production and delivery training, to the quietly encouraging effect of being held up as an example of what Britain has to offer the world of inclusive technology.

We couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve accomplished, and we’re looking forward to deepening our understand of how How Do I? can be used to support people here at home in the UK, and what it could offer those further afield. We’ve been ramping up our efforts to introduce How Do I? to the world, and have begun to sell to schools and supported living projects. Last month, we filmed our promotional video. From a very young age, Tom has wanted to make short films and has been lucky enough to make a few, but nothing has really compared to the experience of making this.

Creating How Do I? and the promotional film gave us great insight into the experience of the young people we work with. For us, showing our work to close friends, family and work colleagues is always quite enjoyable, and gives context to what we’ve been rambling on about for months. Showing people whose professional accomplishments you’ve admired from afar (and who you really want to impress!) feels like a different experience. You cross an imaginary line and you are completely open to criticism. The experience is replayed every time you test videos with potential users, and the cycle repeats itself on an infinite loop: create, present, improve, repeat.