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Access4Kids: Tablet Computers and Children with Disabilities

December 10, 2012 — Ayanna Howard, a Georgia Tech professor of electrical and computer engineering, and Hae Won Park, a Georgia Tech graduate student, have developed and created Access4Kids with the goal of helping children with limited mobility, “giving them the ability to use what’s in their mind so they have an outlet to impact the world.” Access4Kids is a wireless input device that utilizes a sensory system to measure pressure, which translates a child’s physical movements into fine-motor gestures that enables them to control and interact with a tablet computer. The current model of the device can be worn on the forearm or the arm of a wheelchair and the child uses their fist to hit the sensors. However, Howard is working on the development of a second prototype with wireless sensors that could be placed in any location the child is capable of hitting. The device has received positive feedback from children and has also received recognition within the industry, as the device was a finalist in a recent Intel-sponsored competition and was demonstrated to and received well by the British Consulate before the Paralympic Summer 2012 games. Access4Kids could significantly impact the lives of those children with an orthopedic disability by providing them the ability to use tablet computers and other touch screen devices they have, up to this point, been barred access. 

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The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center for Wireless Technologies is sponsored by the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under grant number 90RE5007-01-00. The opinions contained in this website are those of the Wireless RERC and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services or NIDILRR.