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If there’s anyone who understands the struggle of persons with disability (PWDs), it’s Aia Arkoncel.

Aia Arkoncel
Aia Arkoncel

Living with a physical disability herself, Arkoncel knows that while systems have been in place to help her, there’s still much to improve and to do.

This is why for her thesis project before graduating as a design student, Arkoncel has come up with an upgraded ID system of PWDs. Her idea, which she first shared in a tweet requesting for respondents, involves vibrant designs of a new card system, as well as a mobile application.

“As a creative and a person with disability, I saw it as my duty to give back to my community in the best way I know how—design,” she writes in a tweet. “I wanted to empower PWDs by upgrading the current ID and its benefits to a system that makes it more efficient and accessible for them.‬”

The improved PWD IDs use color coding as well as icons to identify a person’s type of disability: green for mental, yellow for physical, and red for visual.

Arkoncel says these indicators are especially helpful for those whose disabilities are not visible.

“Through my research, I found out that some PWDs experience discrimination because their disability is not visible,” she added. “By color coding the ID cards and adding icons, it adds visual cues on the kind of disability a person has without having to ask.”

This ID can then be connected to the PWD PH app, which Aia describes as a “hub for everything PWD-related.”

“It has your medical profile, discounted transactions, reminders for your meds and check ups, and a feature that connects you with the community for extra support—whether medical or emotional,” she explains. 

Should any PWD wish to apply for it, they can do so through the app. This helps those who are unable to go to their respective city halls to personally file an ID application, as well as prevent any risk of Covid-19 infection.

Arkoncel wishes to bring her idea into reality, in the hopes of encouraging fellow PWDs.

“[They] feel like so much of their lives are not in their control,” she writes. “Hopefully with this design solution, we can take a step forward towards digitizing this ID system and give them a little bit more direction and control over their lives, and the confidence to live it out to the fullest.”

*This article first appeared on Manila Bulletin Lifestyle‘s June 17, 2020 issue. Minor tweaks were made by MB Life.

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