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Engagement in Practice: Toy Adaptation for Children with Disabilities: Engaging the Community through Educational Outreach and Toy Donation

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Designing Opportunities for Youth Engagement in STEM

Tagged Division

Community Engagement Division

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

8

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32715

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/32715

Download Count

119

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Paper Authors

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Molly Y. Mollica University of Washington

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Molly Mollica earned her BS in Biomedical Engineering and her MS in Mechanical Engineering from Ohio State University. She is currently a PhD student in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Washington. Her engineering education research focuses are in service learning, increasing diversity in engineering, and adapting toys for children with diverse abilities. Her bioengineering research focuses are in thrombosis mechanics, mechanobiology, and DNA origami nanotechnology.

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Alyssa M. Spomer University of Washington

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Brianna M. Goodwin University of Washington

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Shawn Israel University of Washington, Departmet of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Shawn Israel, PT, DPT is a pediatric physical therapist and instructor at the University of Washington in the Division of Physical Therapy. She has experience working with individuals with a wide variety of neurological diagnoses across their lifespan and feels strongly that everyone should have access to toys, mobility and their environment to enhance their play skills and social interactions.

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Anat Caspi P.E. University of Washington

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Dr. Anat Caspi is director of the Taskar Center for Accessible Technology housed by the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Washington. Her research interests are in the areas of ubiquitous computing and data science. Caspi is interested in ways by which collaborative commons and cooperation can challenge and transform computing disciplines, and in particular, translation and deployment of technology to benefit individuals with disabilities.

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Heather A Feldner University of Washington Department of Rehabilitation Medicine

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Heather Feldner received her BS in Human Biology and Master's degree in Physical Therapy from Marquette University. She has been a practicing pediatric physical therapist for 19 years, and began teaching in the University of Illinois at Chicago's DPT program in 2010. She became a board certified pediatric clinical specialist in 2012, completed her Assistive Technology Certificate from UIC in 2015, and earned her PhD in Disability Studies from UIC in 2016. She joined the University of Washington's Department of Mechanical Engineering as a postdoctoral researcher in September of 2016, and recently transitioned to Assistant Professor in the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at UW. Heather has a special interest in user-centered design and participatory research, and has been a lab member of the GoBabyGo program, which creates custom safety and accessibility modifications to commercially available battery powered toy ride-on cars for children with disabilities, since 2012. Heather's research focuses on investigating the impact of traditional and alternative mobility technologies on the experiences of people with disabilities and their families, and the direct and indirect influences of physical and social environments, technology design, industry, and disability orientation on those experiences.

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Katherine M. Steele University of Washington

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Dr. Steele is an associate professor in mechanical engineering at the University of Washington. She received her BS in engineering from the Colorado School of Mines and MS and PhD in mechanical engineering from Stanford University. Her research group is dedicated to designing new tools and techniques to improve human ability through engineering. She also leads AccessEngineering, a program to support and encourage individuals with disabilities to pursue careers in engineering. Dr. Steele previously worked in multiple hospitals as an engineer, including The Children's Hospital of Colorado, Lucille Packard Children's Hospital, and the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago.

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Dianne Grayce Hendricks University of Washington

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Dr. Dianne Hendricks is a Lecturer in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering and the Director of the Engineering Communication Program at the University of Washington. She designs and teaches courses involving universal design, technical communication, ethics, and diversity, equity and inclusion. She co-founded HuskyADAPT (Accessible Design and Play Technology), where she mentors UW students in design for local needs experts with disabilities. She also leads STEM outreach activities for the UW community and local K-12 students involving toy adaptation for children with disabilities. Dianne holds a PhD in Genetics from Duke University, and BS in Molecular Biology and BA in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.

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Abstract

Play is critical in cognitive, physical, and social development in childhood. However, many off-the-shelf toys are inaccessible to a diverse population of users with disabilities thereby excluding them from realizing these same benefits. Toy adaptation, a process of installing a universal activation port into battery-operated children’s toys, addresses a community need for accessible play technology, as it allows for toys to be activated via alternative switches that better meet the needs of the user. Over the last two years, HuskyADAPT (Accessible Design And Play Technology) at the University of Washington has built a sustainable architecture for toy adaptation and distribution to increase community awareness and improve the accessibility of adapted toys in Washington. This paper describes lessons learned and best practices in engaging the community through toy adaptation in two contexts: 1) education outreach and 2) toy donation to families, clinics, and schools.

Mollica, M. Y., & Spomer, A. M., & Goodwin, B. M., & Israel, S., & Caspi, A., & Feldner, H. A., & Steele, K. M., & Hendricks, D. G. (2019, June), Engagement in Practice: Toy Adaptation for Children with Disabilities: Engaging the Community through Educational Outreach and Toy Donation Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32715

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