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Student develops a communication board for a five-years-old boy

Shared by Sara Di Fabio on 2020-06-05 11:03

About the solution

J.J. Guzman is a five years old and has limited speaking ability and a rare condition that makes it difficult for him to see and control his arms and hands. A student from the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design (MIAD), James Brosnan, designed a board that will help JJ to communicate and play independently.

JJ was using a cookie sheet with letter magnets on it to communicate with his teachers and peers, but James noticed the difficulties in handling it. "His problems were very direct, so I was able to come up with fairly direct solutions,” James said.

James designed the “J.J.’s Board” that connects to the desk so JJ can work independently from the teacher. The board is made of softer fabric to prevent damages to the boy’s hand.
The board is black with white letters and vowels are of different colours.

To build the device James researched JJ’s condition and took advantage of his personal experience growing up with dyslexia. "I wanted to implement learning how to read and write the way that I did in a more exploratory way to give him an opportunity to explore language and maybe in the future be able to communicate," James said.

James’ design is part of a collaboration between the MIAD and Milwaukee Public Schools coordinated by Sue Loesl, an art therapist in the schools.

“In that role, I adapt the tools, the techniques and the media of art, so that the kids can better access their art-making potential as independently as possible,” Sue said.

Each year, Sue chooses a school where students face challenges and working with the MIAD students, they create new devices to help the kids. MIAD students are paired with public schools’ students and meet one-on-one throughout a semester to understand how their prototypes would meet daily challenges.

Adapted from: https://eu.jsonline.com/story/news/education/2019/03/31/miad-designers-p...

This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

James Brosnan from the USA is studying industrial design at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design. He took part in the collaboration of the institute with public schools in the area and developed a device to help the five-years-old, J.J. Guzman, to communicate and play independently.

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