Therapeutic play helps promote cognitive, social, and physical skill development in children. Recent articles report how tablet computers are used to provide an inexpensive therapeutic device to engage children with visual, cognitive, and learning disabilities through various therapy and rehabilitation apps. Although this current market is growing, what has been overlooked is the large populace of children with limited fine motor skills, such as those with neurological movement disorders that include cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, spina bifida, and muscular dystrophy. These children are kept from interacting with touch-based tablet computers due to difficulties in 'touching' a specific small region with appropriate intensity and timing (i.e. effecting press and swipe gestures).
Access4Kids is a unique assistive input device that enables access to rehabilitation apps for children with limited upper-body motor control. The wireless device utilizes a sensor system that translates any physically possible body press/swipe movements into fine-motor control gestures. Access4Kids, coupled with a supporting software library, enables control of off-the-shelf apps or control of custom-made apps to facilitate the delivery of effective therapy opportunities for children lacking fine motor skills.
This project was funded by APDC. When the project joined the consortium the device was in the prototyping stage of development.