Building a talented team for effective, experiential content development for the differently-abled

ARISE Impact’s journey to create usable, self-learning content for better employability outcomes for differently-abled individuals began more than a year ago. A crucial first step of this journey included building an expert team that brought innovative ideas to the table. Since then, the content development team has grown from two highly motivated individuals to 12 hardworking team members who are working diligently on a global virtual platform.

At an early stage, the leadership at ARISE Impact realized the importance of approaching content development from a global learning perspective in order to make the self-learning modules usable for all users. In order to do this, the organization went about targeting hiring of volunteers from several key major cities across the globe. Regardless of the location, it was important that the candidates demonstrated strengths in areas of research, conducting interviews, documenting findings and then translating the research and findings in to self-learning modules that can then be tested with users who are differently –abled.

Pawandeep Khatri, Programs Lead, conducts user testing at the SMART Center in Chandigarh, India
Srikanth Raviprasad, based in Savannah (USA), works closely with institutions to bring insight in to making content usable.

Renuka Sharma, Director of Content Development, explains that she grew her team based on the expertise and knowledge that was identified as being essential for developing content that was both impactful as well as engaging for differently abled individuals. In order to understand the perspective of Human Resources professionals who hire individuals with disabilities, ARISE Impact decided to get Pilar Rojas on board as a Content Advisor as she had extensive experience in the area. To fulfill the need for an experienced team member who is well versed in assistive technologies, Renuka and the talent acquisition team added Nivisha Shah to their team. Additionally, recruitment was carried out to fill positions for volunteers who can help with audio recording, translations, field visits and user testing. The team now comprises of individuals working with the differently-abled population, HR professionals who have been involved with hiring individuals with disabilities, as well as an ESL teacher and professionals from different backgrounds and countries.

Pilar Rojas, Content Advisor at ARISE Impact, brings a fresh new perspective for content development.
Amit Koikkarah, Programs Lead at ARISE Impact, based in Delft (Netherlands) is a crucial team player who assists in user testing.
Divij Gulati, Associate Director of Chandigarh Operations, has worked extensively with differently-abled users at the Institute for the Blind in Chandigarh.

In order to create experiential, self-learning content that is user-centered, the team at ARISE Impact identified the importance of walking the talk. This led to them engaging Harshitha, a highly motivated and accomplished social advocate for the disabled community in India, who is visually challenged herself. Harshitha’s involvement with the team helped them gain much needed insight in to designing and creating usable content for individuals with disabilities.

The diversity in backgrounds and professions is a great asset for the organization, enabling them to be agile and innovative. This multiplicity helps the organization approach learning from a global perspective, making accessible content usable. The content development team collectively cites greater empathy as a rewarding outcome of working to empower the differently-abled with their self-learning and self-training modules. As the team continues to grow, ARISE Impact hopes to attract new talent that can bring fresh new perspectives to the organization.

To volunteer with us, please contact: hr@ariseimpact.org.

To sign up for ARISE Impact’s new self-learning modules for better employability outcomes, please visit: www.ariseimpact.org or email us at: contact@ariseimpact.org.