Icons are the most simple and universal form of communication. With this in mind, I designed and developed a device to help my autistic brother, Dustin, communicate with my mom using buttons inspired by the Noun Project.
My brother simply presses a button on his device, and it sends my mom a text message to tell her about his current need. Now we’re trying to take the device to the next level through an Indiegogo campaign. Our mission is to put 100 devices in the hands of 100 people who can’t speak.
Dustin can’t speak. But we can help him, and other people like him, be heard. In honor of Global Accessibility Awareness Day, we would like to challenge the Noun Project design community to create icons centered around accessibility. We’re asking you to design for the everyday tasks we all take for granted.
Taking a shower
Going to sleep
Watching a TV show
Watching a movie
Going to the store
Having a headache
Having an emergency
Giving a high-five
Wanting a snack
Playing video games
Wanting to draw
Brushing your teeth
Saying I love you
Put yourself in the shoes of someone who can’t speak and might have a harder time understanding what might seem really basic or easy to you. How might you say what you need to say? Empathy is key in this creative exercise.
Choose a Category – Each of your icons have to fall into one of the following categories: Home, School, People, Food, Medical, Play, Emergency. Select one.
Draw - You might want to start by drawing with pencil and paper. Keep your icons simple - remember who you are designing for and design with love.
Create Vectors – Create a vector illustration of your drawing, outline all your strokes, and save your icon as a SVG. Sorry, messy icons will not be accepted.
Upload - To upload your design, simply select the icon or icons and press the upload button. You’re done!
Utilization of Icons
The icons designed from this brief will be used to assist people in need throughout their everyday life. When we start building the 100 devices we will be giving away for free to families in need, we will allow the caregivers and their loved ones to pick from this collection. Icons that best represent the needs of the individual and their family or caregivers will be applied to the device’s buttons, becoming the backbone of a communication platform that helps better their day-to-day lives.