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SBIR Phase I: An Accessible Platform for Engaging Children with Motor Impairments in the Classroom Environment

Award Information
Agency: National Science Foundation
Branch: N/A
Contract: 1447682
Agency Tracking Number: 1447682
Amount: $149,974.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: EA
Solicitation Number: N/A
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-01-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2015-12-31
Small Business Information
3522 Ashford Dunwoody Suite #105, Atlanta, GA, 30319
DUNS: 079142572
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: Y
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: Y
Principal Investigator
 Johnetta MacCalla
 (678) 952-9976
 jmaccalla@zyrobotics.com
Business Contact
 Johnetta MacCalla
Phone: (678) 952-9976
Email: jmaccalla@zyrobotics.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
This SBIR Phase I project focuses on developing an accessible educational platform that combines mobile interfaces and adaptive educational tablet applications (Apps) to support the needs of children with special needs. Tablet devices are known to provide an interactive experience that has revolutionized learning for children. Unfortunately, while these tablet devices are intuitive to utilize and easy for many children, those with disabilities are largely overlooked due to difficulties in effecting pinch-and-swipe gestures. This project thus addresses a direct need in our society by providing an integrated educational experience, focused on math education that addresses the diverse needs of children, while providing a solution for variations found in their disabilities. The contributions of this project include 1) the design of accessible math Apps usable by K-12 children with and without disabilities and 2) the design of apps that adapt educational content and provide feedback to parents and teachers based on real-time analytics. Given that there are over 93 million children worldwide living with a disability and, in the United States, children with disabilities are entitled to a free appropriate public education, there is a large potential of making both a commercial, as well as a societal, impact in this space. This SBIR Phase I project addresses an unmet need by developing an innovative solution to enable children with motor disabilities access to mobile devices and Apps that could engage them fully into the educational system. This solution capitalizes on the availability of pervasive technologies by combining an accessible tablet interface and educational Apps that adapt to each child's abilities in order to provide an accessible mobile solution. Tablet devices are known to provide an interactive experience that has revolutionized learning for children. Unfortunately, while these tablet devices are intuitive to utilize and easy for many children, those with motor limitations tend to have difficulties due to the fine motor skills required for interaction. As such, to address the growing utilization of tablets in the classroom environment, the specific research objectives of this effort include the design of methods that enable the embedding of educational math content into accessible tablet apps for training and evaluating cognitive skills, the design of methods that enable adaptation of the educational content based on real-time analysis of interaction data and correlated performance of the child, and the hosting of interactive design sessions with teachers, parents, and children to evaluate the usability of the system.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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