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Innovations in the assistive technology through games: a collaborative project to increase the action and interaction potential of students with cerebral palsy

Grant number: 15/06400-6
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: August 01, 2015 - July 31, 2017
Field of knowledge:Humanities - Education
Principal Investigator:Manoel Osmar Seabra Junior
Grantee:Manoel Osmar Seabra Junior
Host Institution: Faculdade de Ciências e Tecnologia (FCT). Universidade Estadual Paulista (UNESP). Campus de Presidente Prudente. Presidente Prudente , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Aila Narene Dahwache Criado Rocha ; Augusto Cesinando de Carvalho ; Eduardo José Manzini ; Jaqueline Costa Castilho Moreira ; Vera Lucia Messias Fialho Capellini


Students with cerebral palsy present changes in their attention, coordination, and balance, as well as a great difficulty with controlling their movements and posture to execute different tasks. Moreover, they need constant stimuli to complete daily activities and studies. The proposed collaborative research and co-educational project suggests the use of both virtual and board games as an educational resource. Through using mixed methods, both quantitative and qualitative analyses, this study intends to show how these games can be used as assistive technology that helps students with cerebral palsy to strengthen their actions and interactions in the educational and social contexts. As this study proceeds, we intend to offer continuing training in service and exercise to the teachers involved in systematization of the use of these games as an innovative element in working with assistive technology. Based on bio-ecological theory, this study aims to adapt, apply and assess both virtual and board games through close collaboration between the teachers from the Specialized Pedagogic Service and those in physical education. The expected outcome of such collaboration is improved motor capacity/ abilities of the students with cerebral palsy to ameliorate their action and interaction potential. To answer the research questions, we propose two studies. The first study, that corresponds to continuing training in service and exercise, will consist of three stages: 1) Theoretical explanation offered to the teachers on many different approaches to engaging with the students in special education; 2) Game selection based on the references; and 3) Adaptation of the previously chosen games and their assessment in terms of viability of their application on "JP" scale. The data will be measured through variance analysis to verify whether there is a significant difference between the scores obtained on the scale. The data will be processed and analyzed with help of statistical software package called Statistical Analysis System (SAS). We will adopt p value less than .05 to compare with the significance level of the test points obtained both in categories and in the variables in responses. The second study consists of five stages, as follows: 1) Application of the Gross Motor Function Classification System (GMFCS) and Manual Ability Classification System (MACS) with a sample of students; 2) Identification and selection of the games for the students with cerebral palsy; 3) Application and adaptation of the games; 4) Assessment of the games as Assistive Technology resources. This stage of data analysis entails content analysis tools. (AU)

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