Emotional Accessibility in Vietnam schools
Huỳnh Phan (Laura) and Kien (Patrick) are Special Olympics Youth Leaders from Vietnam who participated in the 2019 Special Olympics Asia Pacific Regional Youth Leadership Summit. Together, Patrick and Laura will lead a Youth Innovation Project creating a school-based application that will help with the mental health and well-being of students. The intent is to allow users to openly express their feelings and emotions through emojis, pictures, or text that will directly be shared with counselors. The features of this app will allow it to be accessible to all students – including those with intellectual disabilities. Patrick and Laura aspire to create a community of inclusion, happiness, and sense of security while striving to be a part of the Unified Generation.
Over a period of twelve months, Patrick and Laura will design and test run this application that will be implemented within their own school. The Youth Leaders will work with local psychologists to ensure that the daily questions shown to students on the app are as effective as possible. Patrick and Laura hope that by allowing students to check-in using emojis and pictures they will maximize accessibility to students both with and without intellectual disabilities. Following their project, the Youth Leaders will analyze the results of the application via surveys to determine if they will spread the finished application to other schools as well. Ultimately, Patrick and Laura are enhancing emotional accessibility via this digital library that will create an inclusive connection to counselors and students.