In March 2013, Sherene Ng, a recent graduate of the Early Childhood Studies program (Fall 2012), received a $54K FedDev Science and Engineering in Business Fellowship to start a business to commercialize a prototype that began as an idea during her 4th year internship. She was placed at the Experiential Design and Gaming Environments (EDGE) Lab, where she learned about adaptive design. Adaptive design is a process for creating custom adaptations to meet the specific needs of a user.
With support from Dr. Jason Nolan, Assistant Professor, ECS and Director of the EDGE Lab and Rubina Quadri, a part-time undergraduate (ECS) and her field educator, she worked on creating an assistive device for people with low vision. Vlad Cazan, a Lab Technician at the EDGE Lab, helped her with the electronics for the prototype. The device is a wearable shoe sensor that vibrates to alert users when objects are in their walking path. The goal is to minimize tripping hazards and falls for people who may not be able to detect the objects on their own.
Moving forward, Sherene and Rubina will work closely to start up a business to commercialize adaptive design with the shoe sensor. Although Sherene never imagined that she would be an entrepreneur after graduating from the ECS program, she is grateful for the skills and knowledge she gained during her 4 years at Ryerson, which have enabled her to understand and identify needs for people with disabilities.
About the Author: jnolan
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Ryerson just put out a press release about the EDGE Lab/Phantom Compass partnership.
TORONTO, March 13, 2013 —- Ryerson University’s pioneering Experiential Design and Gaming Environments (EDGE) Lab has partnered with leading Toronto game development studio Phantom Compass. The partnership brings EDGE Lab’s world-class academic research and the creative industry know-how of Phantom Compass together, facilitating commercialization of the Lab’s applied research projects while enhancing the effectiveness of the studio’s desktop, mobile and tablet game products. EDGE Lab and Phantom Compass have already started sharing experience, best practices, and state- of-the-art technology to study how children learn while playing games and how to use that knowledge to better engage children in learning at school…. [read more]
EDGE Lab research associate and founder of the Adaptive Design Association (http://Adaptivedesign.org) recently gave a keynote address at OCALICON, and has provided us with a PDF of her talk about where Adaptive Design comes from and where it is going..
Gaming the imagination: counterpublics and the contestation of symbolic production is a video that addresses the political ramifications of the shift in production of videogames for oppositional groups known as ‘Counterpublics’ . What do these groups, and their contestation of who gets to be in control of symbolic production mean for society today? It is a digital report from the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies, York University, and the EDGE Lab at Ryerson produced and narrated by Lab RA Daniel Joseph. Enjoy.
GamingEdus is a project hosted at the EDGE Lab, and we’re happy that it has lit the way into the next year.
The Evidence Exchange Network (EENet) newsletter features EDGE Lab Alumni Dr. Yukari Seko. Yukari is presently CIHR Postdoctoral Fellow at Social Aetiology of Mental Illness program at CAMH. Her project is Exploring Motivations for Creating Self-injury Content Online
Ryerson Today has profiled the Lab director.
Early Childhood Studies professor Jason Nolan is pioneering a new set of tools and practices that modify physical and sensory environments so that children with physical and cognitive disabilities can participate barrier-free in play, learning, family life and the community.
Often, children with disabilities do not receive sufficient support for their basic needs. Early Childhood Studies professor Jason Nolan, who is also director of Ryerson’s Experiential Design and Gaming Environments (EDGE) lab, believes the field of adaptive design (AD) holds great promise for helping such children thrive. AD, Nolan explains, “is rooted in the belief that we need specific tools and techniques to modify physical environments cheaply and easily, so that children with disabilities can participate in barrier-free play, learning, family life and the community.”
Nolan is focusing his research on tools that increase children’s autonomy. One of Nolan’s main efforts has involved using cardboard and other easily accessible materials to engineer custom adaptations, therapeutic seats, play tables and computer kiosks. Recently, he has also extended AD into soft-circuitry and wearable computing such as garments that can allow non-verbal children to speak. His work is supported by the Canadian Foundation for Innovation; the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation; the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; and the Graphics, Animation and New Media (GRAND) Network of Centre of Excellence.
“I don’t take a ‘medical’ or disease model of disability,” says Nolan. “Instead, I work directly with children to create new designs that extend their ability to interact with and engage the world around them and, in some cases, to acquire the skills to help others.” Nolan’s approach departs from ‘universal’ design by focusing, instead, on the child’s ‘expertise’ about her or his own condition, which he refers to as “user-initiated” design.
Nolan is also active in spreading AD-related knowledge and best practices among fellow scholars and practitioners. He is a member of the advisory boards of the Adaptive Design Association and the GimpGirl Community. Nolan is autistic and is setting up the Toronto chapter of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN) at Ryerson.
Aya Asano lives in Osaka, Japan and works with Ryouiku-Space Yu (nonprofit organization supporting mentally/physically challenged children. Aya works as nursing staff and arts instructor in pottery、water color painting, saori weaves, as well a providing Waldorf education support
She became interested in adaptive design and has been working on some objects of her own that she’s blogged about (page in Japanese), based on the “Geta Chair” design I brought back from the Adaptive Design Association (video). This chair helps children could stay very calm and makes it easier for them to act appropriately.
Now that this rocker is in use she’s looking to make more.
The next step is for her to build a longboard rocker that Melanie prototyped for an autistic teen back in the summer
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Lab director, Jason Nolan, is featured in the Pulse: heath research and innovation at Ryerson university (page 33).
@EDGElab researcher Deb Fels #icchp2012 regarding young #a11y researchers.