A Visual Haptic System for Children with Learning Disabilities: Software and Hardware Design Considerations
Neeraja Subrahmaniyan, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University at Buffalo, United States ; Swetha Krishnaswamy, Department of Rehabilitation Science, University at Buffalo, United States ; Ashirwad Chowriappa, Govindarajan Srimathveeravalli, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University at Buffalo, United States ; Ann Bisantz, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, University at Buffalo, United States ; Linda Shriber, Department of Rehabilitation Science, University at Buffalo, United States ; Thenkurussi Kesavadas, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineerin, United States
Journal of Interactive Learning Research Volume 23, Number 2, ISSN 1093-023X Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC
Research has shown that children with learning disabilities exhibit considerable challenges with visual motor integration. While there are specialized Occupational Therapy interventions aimed at visual motor integration, computer games and virtual toys have now become increasingly popular, forming an integral part of children’s learning and play. Technological advancements, especially in the field of Virtual Environment and Haptics, provide the opportunity to incorporate force feedback and multiple sensory modalities (visual, audio, tactical and propioceptive) into interactive games. This paper presents a preliminary qualitative evaluation of three iterations of haptic games designed to improve visual-motor integration in children with a spectrum of learning disabilities. Data was collected from ten children to evaluate – 1) the usability of the games, in terms of children’s engagement, sustained interest and level of fun in playing the games, and 2) the compatibility of the system’s hardware with Occupational Therapy standards. The results indicate that children enjoyed playing most games, demonstrated sustained interest and were not resistant to interacting with the technology. This result is promising and lends credence to the feasibility of implementing training interventions using Haptics. Lessons learned and recommendations for future design have been discussed both from the standpoint of interaction design and Occupational Therapy. The paper demonstrates the value of the multidisciplinary approach of combining both usability and occupation therapy evaluation methods to improve the software and hardware design of the haptic device.
Subrahmaniyan, N., Krishnaswamy, S., Chowriappa, A., Srimathveeravalli, G., Bisantz, A., Shriber, L. & Kesavadas, T. (2012). A Visual Haptic System for Children with Learning Disabilities: Software and Hardware Design Considerations. Journal of Interactive Learning Research, 23(2), 113-141. Waynesville, NC: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
© 2012 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)