Civic Camp

21st to the 23rd of November at Anglia Ruskin University.

How can technology and information help people with Learning Disabilities live life to the full?

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Introduction to Civic Camp

Presented by Essex County Council and Chelmsford Makerspace, Civic Camp is a volunteer-driven concept, using our collective talents to bring about real change. Set over a whole weekend and kindly hosted by Anglia Ruskin University, we aim to answer the question “How can technology and information help people with Learning Disabilities live life to the full?”

Where does this take place?

Civic Camp will take place at Anglia Ruskin University's Business School in the Lord Ashcroft building. It is less than ten minutues walk from Chelmsford train station and on the Chelmer Valley Park and Ride route. Nearby parking is also available.

When should I turn up?

Participants are free to arrive and leave as they like. The times below are the opening and closing times for each day.

Friday: 16:00 – 20:00
Saturday: 09:00 – 18:00
Sunday: 09:00 – 16:00

What to bring

Bring your energy, enthusiasm and expertise. Any tools you plan to use (including computers) may also be helpful. Food, hot and cold drinks will be provided free of charge throughout the weekend.

What to expect

There is no formal agenda - Civic Camp is driven by the expertise and contributions of its participants!

As a guide, though, we expect Friday will be spent understanding the problem and coming up with ideas, Saturday will be spent working on your projects with Sunday morning spent cleaning up for presentations in the afternoon.

Inspiration and examples

Through conversations with the LD community, we've put together six specific problems and example projects. These are free to use as inspiration, as the foundation of your project or just to give you an idea of what the issues are. We will reveal a new one every day so follow @HackEssex to be notified when a new one is posted!

Help people with Learning Disabilities get work and help employers see the individual, not the disability

People with Learning Disabilities want to work. Sometimes it feels as though the barrier isn’t the individual’s ability to work, but rather potential employers’ misperceptions. How can we show employers what people with Learning Disabilities can do, rather than focus on what they can’t?

Create a Keep Safe app that can guide people to reliable and trustworthy locations in any given area when they are alarmed or anxious

The ‘Keep Safe’ scheme runs across much of Essex – a bright yellow sticker in the window of a shop means that the shop and the staff are trained, able and willing to provide help, support and access to a telephone should someone feel unsafe when they are out and about. How can we take the geographic data and map it, creating an online map of safe space to make a call across a town, city or county – helping people understand where they can go to call for help before they feel unsure?

Develop a Keep Safe website that can help point people to advice and assistance

Today is little more than a domain name. We want to grow the website, providing a range of information that is accessible to all Keep Safe users.

Support people with Learning Disabilities to deal with stressful situations

How do you handle stressful situations? Thankfully for most of us, these situations are isolated and manageable.  Many will look for a reassuring distraction knowing that they have to regain the upper hand and the true perspective of their situation.  Yet, for some on the Learning Disability spectrum, these feelings of helplessness can be overpowering, debilitating and cause undue suffering and harm.  What if the technology was there, on your phone, to help overcome the anxiety and fear, and restore your perspective on the world?

Support people with Learning Disabilities in getting to grips with money and day-to-day spending

Being able to spend money and budget sensibly is an important part of being independent. For many people, handling money can be a challenge – and that’s even before one considers APR rates and savings accounts. How can money management be made straight-forward?

Develop a technological fix that can make “easy reading” the norm

Unfortunately, too much information for people with Learning Disabilities is difficult to understand if you have a Learning Disability. Relying on other people to explain things isn’t much fun and can make it difficult to make decisions. How can we make the creation of ‘easy read’ content easier?