Kids with severe developmental delays are not able to use the same toys that kids without disabilities are able to use. Most of their limitations are so severe that they have very little motor control, verbal communication skills, and vision. These children have few opportunities to affect their environment and to get stimulus in response. The children at the Carter School of Boston are the one percent of disabled kids with most sever needs. The goal is to build a toy that suits the Carter School students’ cognitive levels, stimulates the students, encourages them to interact, and rewards them for impacting their environment. An integral part of our design will be to use both light and noise as rewards, in order to reach more students’ unique needs.
Build a Large Lite Brite game that caters specifically to the needs of the Carter School students in order to better enhance their abilities than other toys that are available on the market. The pegs will be big enough to comfortably fit in their hands, as they cannot grip objects that are very small. In addition, as most of the students are visually impaired to some degree, we will sufficiently block the light coming from inside Lite Brite until a peg is inserted into one of the holes. This will ensure that the students are only visually stimulated with light and rewarded for their efforts if they successfully complete the task of inserting a peg. Lastly, we want to provide multiple forms of reward to accommodate more of the students, so we will also texture some of the pegs for those students who are sensitive to touch, as well as have a music option on the Lite Brite to provide audio stimulus and reward as well when a peg is inserted successfully.
This project is in progress. An initial prototype has been built and the group is working with the Carter School to make changes.