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Student designs ID system with mobile app for fellow PWDs

By Angela Casco

pwd card featured images

Eight months ago, Aia Arkoncel embarked on a journey almost all students have to go through—accomplishing a thesis project.

Her project, which she first shared online via a tweet requesting for respondents, involved a cause close to her heart and a community she herself is a part of—upgrading the ID system of persons with disabilities (PWDs).

Today, she finally finished her thesis and shared her designs of a new card system, which also came with a mobile app.

“As a creative and a person with disability, I saw it as my duty to give back to my community in the best way I know how—design,” Aia says. “I wanted to empower PWDs by upgrading the current ID and its benefits to a system that makes it more efficient and accessible for them.‬”


COLOR CODED These upgraded IDs for PWDs make use of different colors, along with visual cues, to identify a person’s disability right away

The PWD IDs are color-coded in green, red, and yellow with icons that identify the person’s type of disability, whether it is mental, physical, or visual.

Aia, for instance, would have a yellow card as she has a physical disability, as she needs a wheelchair to move around.

“Through my research, I found out that some PWDs experience discrimination because their disability is not visible,” she says. “By color coding the ID cards and adding icons, it adds visual cues on the kind of disability a person has without having to ask.”

The same ID can be connected to a PWD PH app, which Aia describes as a “hub for everything PWD-related.”

“It has your medical profile, discounted transactions, reminders for your meds and check ups, and a feature that connects you with the community for extra support—whether medical or emotional,” she explains.

Another beneficial feature is that PWDs who still do not have an ID can also apply for it through the app. This was meant to help those who remain unable to go to their respective city halls to personally apply for a card.


ONE TAP AWAY The PWD PH app, where the IDs can be connected, provides help by being a hub for everything PWD-related

Through this upgrade, Aia hopes to encourage and “bring a renewed sense of dignity” for fellow PWDs. She also wants to eventually “bring the project to reality through discussions with concerned government offices.”

“[They] feel like so much of their lives are not in their control,” she says. “With this design solution, we can take a step forward towards digitizing this ID system and give PWDs a little bit more direction and control over their lives, and the confidence to live their dreams to the fullest.”

Source: Manila Bulletin (

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