Enabling Technology


My project goal is two-fold; the first part (target-goal) is to create a DDR game that is accessible to kids that are blind. The other part (push-goal) is to create some simple but fun games for kids with cerebral palsy.

The DDR game is based on the idea that any step pattern is a valid pattern. Points are awarded whenever the student is on beat. Point value increases as the students increase their step variation and difficulty (mutiple steps, repeating patterns, location, etc). Higher levels award less for easy steps and more for variation and difficulty.

There are several games available that are options for switch-user accessibility. They include tic-tac-toe, connect four, scorched earth and nibbles/snake (the snake eating an apple game). These games (except for snake) are time independent, so the students can take as long as they need for their turn. The games are also amendable to a choose/select format, where kids choose what to do and select when to do it, all through their switches.

For DDR, Diane Brauner has experience with kids that are blind and would be a great resource. Gretchen Hanser has experience with kids with cp, and can give insight into how games might be set-up to foster muscle use via switch use.

The main problem is time and scale. I think the projects are small enough in size that they can be done in time. But just in case, I broke it into target (primary) and push (secondary) goals. Besides that, I think learning Python will be the biggest coding issue. Both are doable in that language, and there is an existing DDR in Python (Pydance). A structure of some sort will need to be built so the blind kids can have a support frame which also is a reference as to where the pads are located. T. Carter Bethea showed us an example of one used for child in a wheelchair. I’ll have to find out if the kids are all around the same size, or if we need something that’ll adjust to the varying heights.