Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.
Developing the O-Rings, we worked with a little girl named Megan who is blind and has motor impairments. Her teachers expressed that it was difficult to find toys that she could use with her friends, so we set out to make a great looking toy that could be used at home, at school, or in therapy, by any kid, regardless of ability.
Interacting with the O-Rings, Megan develops her orientation and mobility skills, which are important for her to gain balance and learn to walk with a cane. The varying densities and textures, improve her texture sensitivity, which is important to learn braille. The ability to rearrange the rings, provides a seating solution with variable support, enabling her to independently sit with her friends and family.
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.
The O-Rings have been in use in the Middle School Sensory Gym at Meeting Street School in Providence for about 9 months. Between 20-25 children, with various, impairments use the gym regularly. The O-Rings are used for both open-ended play and guided therapy to build strength, tactile awareness, spatial awareness, color and shape recognition, and provide personal space barriers. We receive feedback from teachers, therapists, assistants, and kids through interviews and surveys.
Many teachers simply don’t have the time to develop games or prompts. We are currently planning programs with other organizations to gather more data, and to collaboratively develop play, learning, and therapy prompts for specific age groups, types of therapy, and developmental needs. Our goal is not only to create toys, but also resources that will allow them to be used most effectively and creatively.
Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?
Within 1 year our goal is to have 500+ sets of O-Rings in use throughout the US. By building relationships with organizations, we will have a continuous dialogue on how our toys can be improved and used most effectively. Within 5 years, our goal is to have 5+ inclusive toys in production. With the groundwork set from our first product, our development process will become more streamlined, allowing us to decrease production time and cost, while maintaining quality and customer relationships. Ultimately, we aim to make inclusive play a more vital part of the $22 billion toy market.