Towards the future House for Disabled People (HDP) in Val d’Oise

Client: HDP of Val d’Oise
Design Agency: User Studio
Project Partner: La 27 Region
Location: France

Towards the future House for Disabled People (HDP) in Val d’Oise

What was the problem?

The House for Disabled People (HDP) was created for the inclusion and citizenship of disabled people through the French law concerning equality in rights and opportunities in 2005. It offers unique access to the allocation of rights and benefits, to training and employment, and referral to services and facilities. The local HDP of Val d’Oise experiences organisational problems at the expense of the users (delayed files-processing, saturation of phone reception, etc.) and of the staff (high workload, pressure from users and representatives, etc.).

The challenge of this case was to design a more user-friendly and effective service. The project was expected to collectively come up with ideas for potential improvements, to test them and to formulate recommendations for full-scale implementation; this all in the perspective of the new building which is operational since 2013.

What did they do?

The designers of User Studio researched how to build a better relationship between agents and users, and to ensure dialogue and interaction. After a first phase of visits, observations and meetings, the team suggested to bring together the ideas of both the staff and the users of the HDP. This was done concerning two topics: the HDP interfaces for users (facilities, communication, information) and the services designed for disabled people.

A creative workshop was organised within the HDP, while individual and collective interviews took place with the users, their families, user associations and social facilities. The process of bringing agents and users together to design of a new HDP continued at an intense pace. Meeting after meeting, all the contact points between the users and the HDP were mapped, as well as the method for processing files. This mapping then was used to design new scenarios.

On top of that, the HDP managers and the local observatory of Val d’Oise were associated in these steps, in order to ensure a transfer of methods and the implementation of efficient projects.

What was the result?

Several projects came up and were designed in collaboration with the staff of the HDP, e.g. new information materials for users (which combine illustrations, mobile access and online procedures), a disability-support association located within the facilities (bringing together culture, collective activities, leisure and administrative formalities), and a compendium with all the jobs from the HDP (to favor a mutual knowledge of colleagues and their work, within the administration and the local council). Also, a new pre-reception service is implemented to test and develop a new waiting experience, before the users can move into the new facilities.

Finally, some recommendations are formulated for the architects of the future building, aimed at improving the overall hospitality, and reception of the public. Before the end of the study, working groups including both staff and management were organized, in collaboration with users’ associations, in order to pursue the implementation of the various projects.

To find out more about this case study please contact @matthew_marino

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