Passio is a digital agency - we build websites and mobile applications.
We focus on work which supports people with:
- Cognitive impairments
- Neurological differences (Neurodiversity)
Our purpose is to build technology which puts everyone on an equal footing, so that everyone can thrive and no person is left behind.
This article will be the first in a series about accessibility guidelines. I’ll try to understand what they offer, where they fall down, and what their place is in Passio’s practice. Today I’ll be writing about the history and evolution of accessibility guidelines. We’ll start with an awesome speech from a couple decades ago.
If we could condense nearly a decade of experience into a single sentence it'd be this: You'll never fully understand what it's like to live with a condition until you do, so the users are the real experts.
We believe it's absolutely crucial that everyone with a stake in the project is involved in the design process. Our job is to build these bridges so that the user's needs can be heard, regardless of any difficulties they may have with, for example, communication.
That's why we embrace listening, and we strive to make sure the right questions are being asked. Our design process is based around:
- Discussion - having conversations to find out the needs of our users, whether they are clinicians or people with disabilities
- Understanding - transforming the output of our conversations into actionable design principles for each project
- Continual Improvement - validating our understanding by building prototypes and iteratively improving them through further discussion with our users
Modern Development Practices
Software development can be challenging. Only about 30% of IT projects arrive on time, on budget, and within the customer's expectations. This is bad.
Our experience tells us that there are good ways to build good software - projects delivered using an agile methodology are around 3 times more likely to succeed.
So, we like to focus on the following principles:
- Value the User - embrace the user's vital role in the team in many stages of the project through workshops and conversation
- Release Early and Often - build a small version first, then improve in increments with regular feedback from stakeholders
- Respond Quickly - expect understanding and priorities to change often, be prepared to switch direction without slowing down
An app to help families and clinicians describe eye-pointing behaviour in children with cerebral palsy - built for both Android and iPhone devices.
- Provides training and information on the eyePointing scale to clinicians
- Easy collection of eye-pointing events during clinical sessions
- Allows clinicians to export session data for parents and researchers
Developed in collaboration between the Department of Language and Cognition, University College London, and the Department of Neurodisability, Great Ormond Street Hospital. Funded by the charities Action Medical Research and Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Project Homepage: Eye-Pointing Classification Scale
A reading-assistance app for android tablets, designed to help people with posterior cortical atrophy (PCA) and other degenerative conditions that impair vision.
Read-Clear helps with:
- Visual disorientation - getting "lost in the page"
- Visual crowding - words becoming cluttered together
- Oculomotor apraxia - difficulty in following text along a line
Developed in collaboration with researchers from University College London, people living with PCA, and their relatives. Funded by the Dunhill Medical Trust.
Project Homepage: Read-Clear
Bright Futures UK supports young people who are forced to take time out from education due to medical circumstances, providing workshops, mentoring and tutoring.
The website and platforms delivered by Passio facilitate:
- Matching metors with mentees who have long-term or terminal illnesses
- Scheduling meetups between mentors and mentees
- Allows charity administrators to monitor communication between mentors and mentees
Project Homepage: Bright Futures UK
An android app which assists with therapy for stroke survivors with acquired reading problems. Designed to supplement limited Speech and Language Therapy provided by the NHS.
- App uses repetitive pairings of written words, spoken words, and pictures to rebuild associations between diffferent neural representations
- Patients with central alexia who used iReadMore averaged an 8.7% improvement in word recognition after two months
Project Homepage: iReadMore
A Speech and Language Therapy app designed for children on the autistic spectrum at University College London.
BabbleBooster aims to provide minimally-verbal children with the opportunity to practice speech sounds regularly and consistently in a way that's both fun, and optimised for their specific speech profile.
The app is based on the premise that children on the autistic spectrum may struggle to reproduce speech sounds automatically, and this may be improved with repetitive 'speech drills' training.
The app is currently going through a Research Trial, if you would be interested in hearing more or getting involved, please contact us
is a Software developer and designer with a Masters in Informatics from The University of Edinburgh. She has a strong interest in rehabilitative and assistive technologies and has several years of experience in creating apps and technology for people with cognitive differences and impairments.
In her career, Ashley has developed a 3D Autism simulator tool with a goal of increasing understanding of Autism for herself and others and can be viewed here, spent two years working in the Dementia Research Institute at University College London, creating an Android app which facilitates reading in an extremely rare form of Dementia known as Posterior Cortical Atrophy, and is currently working on two stroke therapy rehabilitation apps, iReadMore, an assistive word-reading therapy app, and Readright which looks to improve reading speeds for patients with hemianopic alexia.
An engineer with a strong focus on user-experience, web and mobile development, and software development process. Chris has led engineering teams, worked on UX in public transport for people with visual impairments and hospital information systems, and built software for the US Department of Agriculture.
Chris holds a Masters degree in Informatics from the University of Edinburgh, and has been a software developer for about 10 years now. When he’s not busy typing, he’s usually playing guitar or climbing.
A recent graduate from the University of Edinburgh, with a BSc in Cognitive Science. Tara is a waitress turned software developer with a background in accessibility, game-based learning, language impairment and HCI.
As a part of her dissertation, she created a tablet-based prototype app for autistic children, designed to help users with their comprehension of complex syntactical structures.
With over a decade in the tech industry, Mikey has worked with global companies and public sector enterprises just as passionately as he has charities and micro businesses. A Software Engineer and Product Manager who is as interested in how much people will enjoy using something as he is in building it, he strives to produce interesting tech that can help with problems people needlessly wrestle with.
Can often be found hill walking, playing games and getting overly excited about the next thing that peaks his interest.
A software developer in his spare time for over 15 years with a broad range of interests, including machine learning and automation; some recent favourite projects include identifying signs of pneumonia in lung X-Rays and training reinforcement learning algorithms to play flash games such as DinoRun.
Blair’s full-time career for the last 10 years has been in Civil Service, working in Westminster on developing government policy and legislation including EU policy at the Cabinet Office, Customs & Tax at HMRC, and Broadband and Cyber Security at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.
He enjoys learning languages (Mandarin for the last 3 years), travelling, gaming, and hiking.