On October 8th the IEEE SIGHT Projects Committee awarded the proposal submitted by our UK & Ireland SIGHT group called “Inclusive multi-sensor platform for autistic kids that encourages social interaction” (19-SPC3-19) with a funding amount of USD $9,815.00.
This project lead by Eduardo Audiche (firstname.lastname@example.org) seeks to provide an inclusive multi-sensory space development that encourages active engagement through motion. The project will give kids with special needs the opportunity to influence and interact with other children through movement, exploration and collaboration in an edutainment and safe environment. The platform consists in a projector managed by remote control with more than 200 applications that can be programmed according to the children needs and curriculum expectations. This project seeks to address the lack of sensory occupational therapy and very limited speech and language therapy in the county of Essex.
For this project, a small but well-known charity called Stepping Stones Play and Learn Group based in Colchester has been selected. They offer an integrated nursery for children with additional needs and also main streamers, aged 2 – 5 to play, learn and develop alongside each other. The charity also runs a weekly Tots Group for babies with special needs, After School and Holiday Clubs for school aged children age 5 -18 with complex needs and a monthly Family Stay & Play session. The Group therefore supports children and young people aged from 0 – 18. Stepping Stones is a registered charity and non-profit making group.
The outcome from using this technology would be to create an inclusive multi-sensory space that encourages active engagement through motion for all children, with or without disabilities, improving their cognitive development, making it available for the whole family and wider community.
Using the projector with different programs the sessions can be tailored to the children’s needs in regards of Occupational Therapy (OT) and Speech and Language Therapy (SALT). Also, it is expected that use of the technology will:
- Develop a sense of security and levels of engagement through building positive relationships.
- Develop an awareness of the world around them through sensory exploration.
- Develop the physical skills through which they can control and explore their environment.
- Establish behaviours through which they can express their feelings, make choices and communicate with other people.
- Experience life within the community, responding to other people and sharing activities with them.
- Develop communication skills in speech, gesture, and sign or symbol so that they can interact with other people, make choices, follow instructions and explanations and access the key concepts needed for learning.
- Learn to co-operate with other people, to build positive relationships and to take responsibility for themselves.
- Learn the skills which will help them be more independent in adult life.
- Learn about the world around them and the wider community.
If you wish to know more about this project or are interested in replicate this initiative in other locations, please contact the project leader Eduardo Audiche (email@example.com).