Name of Organisation: Designability Charity Limited
Description of Organisation: We are an independent charity with a mission to create and provide products that enable disabled people to live with greater independence. We aim to draw on the expertise and resources of designers, engineers and occupational therapists to ensure our products make a positive impact in people’s lives.
Name of Employer: Rob Hanson
Job Title: Mechanical Design Engineer
Internship Scheme used: A2I Employer subsidies (A2I) – Employment Services – University of Exeter
Our intern worked with us in the user-engagement and requirements gathering for a purpose-designed ‘saddle’ as part of our ongoing development of dynamic seating for children with dystonic cerebral palsy. As a charity, the team’s time and resources are very limited, so the student’s contribution of scoping and defining the product requirements, translating user-engagement to concept ideas, and shaping an early product definition has been useful in moving this part of the project forward.
This contribution of furthering thinking and understanding in this area is extremely valuable in itself. As a researcher she was extremely thorough in her scoping, thinking and documentation. She has been a pleasure to work with; quiet, considerate and kind.
We feel that the internship scheme is a great way to get students (either undergrad or graduate) industry connected. Our intern joined us for a short internship, bringing fresh thinking and an open mind. Willing to learn, keen to contribute, and driven to make a positive impact with the engineering skills she developed at university, I am glad she could spend some time with us.
Quote from Intern:
“My time included home visits to a child who would be using the saddle seat – this improved my skills in user-centered design and helped me understand the complex requirements of seating for dystonic cerebral palsy children. I improved my teamworking skills, in consulting other engineers/occupational therapists on my design. I became more confident in putting forward my ideas, as well as understanding criticisms.”