Balancing the Scales

Analysing the barriers to participation and inclusion

Program Overview

Balancing the Scales is an open-ended inquiry through which students will develop a comprehensive understanding about the way disability and inclusion are understood in society, and how building capability and independence for people with disability can be addressed through assistive technology design.


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Curriculum Links
  • Science
  • Technology
  • Engineering
  • Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Critical & Creative Thinking
  • Personal
  • Social
  • Ethical
Success Criteria
  • Understand that accessibility and inclusion can improve people’s confidence and independence, and promote wellbeing
  • Collaborate effectively to create solutions to identified problems
  • Consider a range of tools, technologies and specialist equipment

Students will interact with a range of people, case studies, assistive technologies and authentic examples in order to critically analyse the barriers to participation and inclusion. They will explore experiences of people with disability and examine existing solutions, including ethical implications. Through empathetic research, students will develop a deep personal understanding of related challenges and issues, and as a response design an assistive device that will address the needs of a person with disability.

Students will be introduced to a range of prototyping technologies and techniques such as 3D modelling, digital sketching and drawing, microcomputers and coding, app development, carboard prototyping and wearable technology. The program concludes with students pitching their design solution to a wider audience and receiving valuable feedback on their product and process.

Year Level

Year 7-12


3 Day Program

Industry Focus
  • Health & Social Assistance
  • Disability, Access & Inclusion

Prosthetics and Orthotics – La Trobe University; Araluen; Araluen Art Connects; Solve Disability Solutions; Vision Australia; Concord School; Diamond Valley Special Development School; Charles La Trobe Secondary College; Banyule City Council; Shire of Nillumbik; Scott B Harris; Jin Woodman; Aaron Jardim; John Thompson; Sean Fimmer; Rachael Fent; Samuel Crisp; Jasmine Trasancos.

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Skills Focus
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Problem Solving
  • Digital, Computer & Technological Literacy
Technologies Available
  • Computer Aided Design
  • 3D Printing
  • Adobe Illustrator CC
  • Wearable Technology
  • Coding
  • Microcontrollers
  • App Development