The project aims to develop an online game for young kids who use eye-gaze and to help them develop their skills through exploration and discovery. The ultimate aim with any student using alternative access is to enable the use of the same resources and software as their peers.
The first place to start is fun! Providing opportunities to play games and fun activities will help refine access skills and encourage students to explore more.
Another game is to be built for visually impaired toddlers to help them begin a journey towards digital literacy. Because children with visual impairments may not be able to learn by watching what is going on around them, they must learn "by doing" and interacting with their environment. The game should be simple to operate and fun to play
In working with disabled children the challenges are not just to help them but to do so without them feeling as though they are incapable of doing things for themselves. In addition, we should also be in a position to treat them in exactly the same manner as we would a child who is physically and mentally sound.
Game 1- For kids who use eye gaze
Spifind- Spot the Spider
Little Jack is scared of spiders and his room is dark. As the spider approaches Jack, the player tries to capture the spiders and save him. In the dark room, kids (the players) use flashlights to find and capture the spider. The flashlight will be operated by the movement of the kid's eyes. As the spider approaches, it makes some sound to alert the user and kids dart the flashlight around the room to find it. When the flashlight is on the spider, the kid dwells/blinks to capture it. Once found, the capturing needs to be done in a given time limit which could be set initially and depends on the conditions of different users. Kids would love to watch the flashlight dart around the room. The number of spiders captured by the child will be reflected on the scoreboard.
Most kids benefit from exploration, discovery, playing, making mistakes, initiating and repeating. This game aims to provide opportunities for free exploration and early control without significant consequences. This game helps assess the positioning and calibration skills of a child. It is also useful as a guide to determine the presence of very early visual skills. It tells us how a kid reacts to animation and sound. Using our eyes for expressive purposes and
developing essential cognitive, recognition, comparison and searching skills in a pattern can be done with the help of this game. With motivation,
perception, planning and motion the child can develop control over his muscles.
I have done a small proof of concept of this game. It is shown in the link:
Game 2: For visually impaired toddlers.
Music is a wonderful resource for an infant born blind. Exposure to it enhances a child’s natural ability to decode sounds and words. A simple game where kids can play music using the keyboard keys will be created. When the baby presses the key, it produces a sound. Eventually, he’ll figure out that he is making that sound himself and this is really important for the mental development. Toddlers and Preschoolers enjoy nursery rhymes and playing it themselves repeatedly encourage the use of words and memorization.
Children sway, bounce, or move their hands in response to music they hear and enjoy the process. It not only improves their motor skills but is also a step towards digital literacy. The first step in understanding the fundamentals of the location of different keys on the keyboard will be accomplished by this game. Later on, this knowledge will help them use different technologies and solve problems. A similar game to the link given below will be made. Pressing any key produces music giving a sense of accomplishment and instilling happiness in the child.
Partners + Mentors
Partners: Beit Issie Shapiro; Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital
Mentors: Jess Mitchell, Alan Harnum, Dana Ayotte, Gregor Moss
Timeline & Milestones:
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Time zone: IST (UTC +5:30)