Service-Learning: Perspectives of Assistive Technology for Participation in Unified Games
AffiliationUniversity of Southern Indiana
TitleService-Learning: Perspectives of Assistive Technology for Participation in Unified Games
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Embedded YouTube Videohttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THaf2en0Y9c&list=PL7zLNdwp3vSwYAXHgqItsRO6RE7Vs7zoc&index=3&t=18s
How can students with significant physical disabilities participate more independently in school sponsored unified games and adaptive physical education classes? That is the question that occupational therapy (OT) students from the University of Southern Indiana (USI) were assigned to answer. OT students were asked to use their clinical skills, assistive technology training, and imagination to design equipment that students could access more independently to participate in track and field type activities.
Special education staff from the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation in southern Indiana contacted USI faculty with their needs and developed a service learning opportunity with amazing benefits for both parties. For the middle school students, the unified game events are aligned with the Indiana organization and include manual wheelchair races, power wheelchair races, standing long jump, softball throw, kickball, and baseball. For the elementary school students, the school district has developed 10 stations for the event including basketball activities, scooter activities, kicking activities, obstacle course, balancing act, throw/catch, scarf juggling, parachute play, tic-tac-toe, and animal walks. At first glance, this list of activities seems extremely challenging for children with limited motor skills. However, with the addition of assistive technology, problem solving skills, and creativity, the community and university worked together to even the playing field. Join us as we share the innovative equipment we designed; and the successes and failures we experienced along the way to break down barriers for students with significant physical disabilities.
Our poster presentation will examine the implementation of the project including the following:
- Assistive technology (AT) equipment designed
- Building and modifying the AT equipment
- Trials with the AT equipment
- Outcomes of inclusive participation with our created devices