myMoneyCounts - An budgeting app for users with intellectual disabilities.
To improve the quality of life for people with intellectual disabilities by promoting independent decision-making through money management.
A collaborative project between Saint John of God Carmona Services,South Dublin and MABS (Money Advice and Budgeting Service) in 2011 saw the development of an innovative website called moneycounts.ie. MoneyCounts is a tool to facilitate learning of practical and sensible money management skills supporting personal safety and independence. This project was developed with the support of BenefIT – The eInclusion scheme facilitated by The Knowledge Society Division of the Department of Communications, Energy & Natural Resources. Carmona Services approached IADT to redesign the budgeting section of moneycounts.ie as an iPad application. This is a social entrepreneurship and community engagement project for IADT. Moneycounts.ie uses a more traditional approach where a student is taught by a teacher by acting out different scenarios. The new myMoneycounts will replace the budgeting section on moneycounts.ie by creating a more hands on approach to teaching this very important topic as opposed to the budgeting section on moneycounts.ie. While taking into consideration that many people with special learning needs or impairments may not be able to acquire such sophisticated decision-making skills, there are a number of studies that show that people with cognitive impairments can be assisted to make more effective decisions. Research plays a significant role in designing, implementing, and providing supports needed to achieve that greater control over decisions that impact their lives. It is envisaged that this application will provide users with rich graphics and data visualizations and assist users with learning difficulties or cognitive impairments in managing their finances. This application may also be helpful for older users or users with mathematical difficulties. Future evolution of the application will employ the use of the D3.js library for the dynamic and interactive data visualizations of budgets.
Best practices in the fields of transition services, vocational rehabilitation are concentrating on person-focused and self-directed supports that enable persons with disabilities to have a meaningful voice in making their own choices and in managing their own finances. Feedback from users and service providers has shown that myMoneyCounts application will be a valuable technology assisted decision making tool for these users. Feedback has shown that the images are appropriate, and the design is consistent for the needs of the user group. The focus is on promoting the self-determination of people with disabilities.