Taylor’s University Students Design Aids to Encourage Learning for the Impaired

A service to the community teaches individuals to look beyond themselves and understand the role they can play in their community or country. Done well and sincerely, the benefits are intangible such as, the feeling of satisfaction, pride and sense of accomplishment. On top of which, sharing time and talents allows problem solving, improve lives, strengthen communities and transform their own lives. Increasingly, giving back to the community is becoming a priority not just for companies but also for individuals. As such, to establish an early mindset considerate for the community, many education institutions have adapted modules for a holistic curriculum and to instill a sense of civic responsibility.
 
This prompted thirty-six students from The Design School at Taylor’s University to adopt Persatuan Pemulihan Orang-Orang Cacat (PPOC) Selangor as a beneficiary to enhance one of its classroom ambiances and create learning aids for occupants that have a learning handicap. The project took some three weeks to complete, then were presented to its fourteen students that will be utilising their new room.
 







Thirty-six students from The Design School at Taylor’s University revamp a classroom for Persatuan Pemulihan Orang-Orang Cacat (PPOC) Selangor as a part of their community service module.
 
“We are extremely pleased to see the outcome of the classroom and learning aids provided to the students at PPOC,” said Ernesto Pujazon, Head of School for The Design School at Taylor’s University. “The Design students, with their lecturers, really spent time with the residents to understand their experiences and developed suitable tools to help them learn better, an integral quality to have when entering the industry.”
 
For the School, this is the second time they have partnered with PPOC Selangor in a year. An earlier project had students and PPOC residents design and sell tote bags at Amcorp Mall. “We were very pleased to welcome students from The Design School at Taylor’s University again on our premises and surprised to learn that they wanted to embark on a bigger, more sustainable project,” said Md. Kuzman Alrashidin Md. Rushdi Kubon, Administrator at PPOC. “Our students have learning disabilities and with the enhanced class setting, it would help them stay motivated to learn basics of reading and writing,” he said.
 





Students from The Design School at Taylor’s University demonstrate the educational games they created for the residents at Persatuan Pemulihan Orang-Orang Cacat (PPOC) Selangor to learn basic numbers and alphabets.

In five groups, The Design School students divided their tasks from painting classroom walls, building an interactive wall mural, restoring existing tables, chairs and designing mobile learning aids. “We were given a unique opportunity to redesign a classroom space, something that is deeply rooted in our field, which meant more to us as we were utilising our skills learned throughout our course,” said Imani Najwa Nordin, a third year student in the Bachelor (Honours) of Interior Architecture at Taylor’s University. “Our group agreed to build a fixed wall structure to help students learn about colours. We aimed to make it a multi-functional and interactive structure, so that they will be encouraged to use it,” she explained.
 
However, no renovation projects come without barriers. Aside from time constraints, deciding the wall colours and assembling the wall fixture proved to be challenging. For fellow Interior Architecture student, Leen Alkaff, “Choosing the mural design and colours was our biggest challenge. As we got to know the residents at PPOC, we decided to paint muted colours between light grey, light green, taupe, and gold with a scenic view of the landscape, because it is less distracting and at the same time, pleasing to the eye. We thought it was best in representing the residents’ vibe.
 



The finished product of the classroom at Persatuan Pemulihan Orang-Orang Cacat (PPOC) Selangor to encourage its residents to learn in a classroom setting.
 
The biggest reward came when The Design School students presented their final work to the residents of PPOC. “It was encouraging to see them become excited by what we created for them,” said Pei Sye Low. “All of us worked really hard to create an environment where they can enjoy the learning experience and hopefully this will unleash their hidden potential.” The project took a total of three weeks to complete, and a sense of achievement was felt among all members of the team.
 

A group photo with Taylor’s University students and Persatuan Pemulihan Orang-Orang Cacat (PPOC) Selangor residents.