BlueAssist is a social innovative idea and a logo developed in coaching centre Ithaka in Ostend Belgium. By showing this logo to passers-by, the fellow citizens recognize that the user of the logo needs help. It gives confidence to the user to ask for help and to the fellow citizen to offer help. This logo has been widely used, helping many users to go shopping, take buses/trains and do other daily activities more independently. Further information about BlueAssist can be found at www.blueassist.eu
The coach together with the user adds messages and pictures/symbols in the app with regards to the possible problems that the user may encounter when he/she goes out on his own. For instance:
If the user is going to take the metro, a BlueAssist message can be added: Hello, I need to get off the metro at Waterloo station. Could you please give me a sign when we get there, please? Thank you”.
On each page there is a Call button next to the message. If the passer-by cannot help, he/she can push the call button and get in touch with the coach of the user. They can then consult the coach and find a solution for the situation. Using a smartphone as carrier for the BlueAssist messages (comparing to BlueAssist card) has the advantage that the helper does not need to have a smartphone to access help for the user.
Several users have learned how to use public transport on their own using this logo and messages.
You can also add a general call for help in case the user is confused. Something like:
“Hi, My name is Peter. I’m confused and don’t know what to do. Please push the green Call button to call my coach. Thank you”.
Some of the available options
- Browsing through the BlueAssist messages with buttons instead of swiping
- Changing the font size
- Protecting the settings with a pin code