Congratulations to Athenry, The Galway Wild Geese and the local business owners and volunteers who have been shortlisted for .IE Awards 2022 under the category of Community Digital.

Welcoming the news, Minister Rabbitte said:

I am thrilled to see Athenry short-listed for the 2023 .IE Awards under Community Digital.  Our goal is to see Athenry join her sister towns of Gort and Portumna on this innovative xplore platform.  I am particularly pleased that Upourside have chosen Athenry to pilot their new innovative app features for users with intellectual or physical disabilities, which is so often an overlooked component of app design and development.  

Athenry, Co. Galway Shortlisted for .IE Awards - Community Digital - Ability and Accessibility 1
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The ambition behind the Xplore App for Athenry is to create an online platform to promote local businesses, community groups, clubs and the local outdoors to the local community. 

Galway Wild Geese work closely with Upourside who plan to implement a digital app to help make the town more accessible and engaging for all its citizens.

Creating innovative app features for users with intellectual or physical disabilities is an important and often overlooked component of app design and development.

This app will feature all local businesses, community groups, restaurants, bars, clubs and trails, as well as notification and alert tools, and tours that highlight local history and culture. 

Athenry, Co. Galway Shortlisted for .IE Awards - Community Digital - Ability and Accessibility 3
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A strong focus will be placed on engaging users with physical or intellectual disabilities. 

The objective of this project is to implement a digital app that would provide citizens with all the information they need to enjoy the town of Athenry, regardless of their physical or intellectual capabilities.

The project is being led by The Galway Wild Geese, a selection of local business owners, community groups, and volunteers. 

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The team are working together to ensure that the app meets the needs of the local citizens, providing an engaging user interface to facilitate navigation, and an intuitive design to provide a user friendly experience, that it is accessible to all citizens, regardless of their physical or intellectual abilities. 

The timeline for rollout of the project will be two months, with the app being launched in the third month. 

The project seeks to make the local area more accessible to everyone, regardless of physical or intellectual disabilities.

The app will provide an engaging user interface to facilitate navigation, and an intuitive design to provide a user friendly experience. 

Expected Outcomes

Athenry, Co. Galway Shortlisted for .IE Awards - Community Digital - Ability and Accessibility 5
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Firstly, by providing an online platform for local businesses and community groups, the app will encourage increased engagement with local services.  Secondly, by providing an accessible platform for people with physical or intellectual disabilities, the app will make the local area more accessible and inclusive for all.

Galway Wild Geese have reached an agreement with Upourside  to use Athenry as a test location for the initial rollout of their ground breaking suite of accessibility tools before rolling out the new features to the whole xplore platform, prior to the features being rolled out across the country.

Accessibility

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Incorporating these design and development best practices into the Xplore Athenry app for users with physical or intellectual disabilities will ensure an enjoyable and accessible experience, and will help to create an engaging and and user-friendly app.

  • interface designs with simple clear colours
  • larger icons
  • easy to understand language
  • mapping tools that avoid steps/narrow paths and more.
  • Audio cues that are considered, with clear and concise instructions.
  • Navigation that is intuitive, easy access different features of the app.
  • Fonts will be large and readable, and colours that are contrasting to ensure they are easily distinguishable.

It will provide the local community with a comprehensive, up to date and easily accessible source of information which they can access from any device. 

This will allow users to make informed decisions about what to do, whether it is attending an event, supporting a local business or joining a club or community group. 

The app will also make it easier for disabled users to access the information they need, promoting inclusivity and equality.

what lessens one of us lessens all of us sign
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The objective of this project is to create a digital app that would provide citizens with all the information they need to enjoy the town of Athenry, regardless of their physical or intellectual capabilities.   The team will worked to foster engagement and collaboration by providing support and feedback throughout the project. 

The team has very ambitious plans for the continuation of the Xplore project. 

Creating innovative app features for users with intellectual or physical disabilities is an important and often overlooked component of app design and development.

About xplore

Athenry, Co. Galway Shortlisted for .IE Awards - Community Digital - Ability and Accessibility 7
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The Wild Geese have been working with the experienced digital agency Ourside over for over three years – our mission to onboard the towns of East Galway to their unique digital ecosystem xplore local. 

The Xplore App is all about connection. Our towns have so much to offer, from their rich, buried histories to the shops that line their streets and we are committed to shining a light on the things that make these places so unique, and devoted to making the path to their discovery that bit shorter. 

Xplore is for the adventurer (and the adventurous local) and they believe that a thriving community is a well-informed, inclusive and united one. 

Athenry, Co. Galway Shortlisted for .IE Awards - Community Digital - Ability and Accessibility 9
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Athenry Castle created by AI

The platform provides a framework for initiatives that support this mission.  Xplore want to help communities help themselves through web and app features that promote interaction, participation, and insight. 

This includes the showcasing of local businesses and systems through Xplore Local Vouchers: virtual tokens which can only be spent on goods and services within your community. 

Sustainability

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The app was designed from the ground up with community sustainability in mind and aims to support the tenets of a circular economy, which includes the elimination of waste and a transition to renewable energy sources. 

Xplore brand embodies localism. A self-assured community that embraces its own people, culture, history, products, and services is one that is prepared to face the challenge of finding and implementing sustainable energy solutions. 

Xplore promotes shopping local, principally through our Xplore Local Voucher initiative and Xplore Click and Collect. 

It ensures that local businesses and creators are prioritised without compromising on consumer choice. 

This circulation of local expenditure leads to more consistent growth and a model of consumption that reduces reliance on unsustainably-produced goods. 

Xplore provides training and facilitation sessions with students and volunteers onboarding business, services, sports clubs and community societies onto the platform.

What is Accessible Design

Accessible design, also known as inclusive design or universal design, is the practice of designing products, services, environments, and technologies that can be used by people with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. The goal of accessible design is to create a world that is accessible and usable by all, regardless of age, size, ability, or disability.

Accessible design involves considering the needs and limitations of a diverse group of people when designing a product or environment. This includes designing for people with mobility impairments, visual or hearing impairments, cognitive or learning disabilities, and other types of disabilities.

Accessible design can involve a range of design strategies, such as providing alternative formats for information, designing for easy navigation, providing clear and simple instructions, using appropriate colors and contrasts, and ensuring that products and environments are physically accessible.

By designing with accessibility in mind, we can create products and environments that are more usable, more comfortable, and more convenient for everyone, regardless of their abilities or disabilities.

What is Inclusive Design

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Inclusive design, also known as universal design or accessible design, is an approach to design that aims to create products, services, and environments that are accessible and usable by everyone, regardless of their age, ability, or disability. The goal of inclusive design is to create products and environments that are inclusive and equitable, and that can be used by the widest possible range of people.

Inclusive design involves considering the diversity of people’s needs and experiences, and designing products and environments that are flexible, adaptable, and responsive to those needs. This includes designing for people with physical, sensory, and cognitive impairments, as well as people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds.

Inclusive design can involve a range of design strategies, such as providing multiple ways to access information, designing for easy navigation and use, using clear and simple language, providing adequate lighting and contrast, and ensuring that products and environments are physically accessible.

By designing with inclusivity in mind, we can create products and environments that are more usable, more comfortable, and more convenient for everyone, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, and promote a more equitable and inclusive society.

 

 

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