Poop emojis as a metaphor for poop

Jonathan Holden
Case Study
Inclusive design

Sebacic worked with POWAR, the Lancashire County Council participation council group for children and young people with special educational needs and disabilities.

We were looking at the Local Offer, and specifically the problems young people had in thinking about and accessing post 16 education, training and work. We were looking for general topic areas and specific content that young special needs and disabled people need.

After hearing a talk from Ali Fawkes about work she did with Staffordshire County Council, we decided to use a similar review system with the POWAR group. We asked them to draw a timeline from age 0 to 25. Then they added points on the timeline where they had had to think about changes in their life. We gave them some stickers to add, showing good and not so good experiences. The stickers were smiley emojis and poop emojis.

A page of poop emoji stickers including princess poop, birthday poop, and love heart poop

The young people were clear and emphatic about those negative experiences, but they also had a lot of fun talking, drawing and writing about them.

We spend a lot of time telling young people not to complain, not to make a fuss, but as we design services for them, as we think about content to help them with their needs, it's essential that we enable them to give voice to things that go wrong.

hand drawn timeline of young person's journey from birth to 25 including ideas such as starting using money and travelling independently on public transport