LIVEResearch Projects

Exploring how a Wizzybug powered wheelchair can support play

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Little boy playing bat and ball while sat in his Wizzybug

This two year study is part of a larger four year project, “Disability and Community: Disengagement, disenfranchisement, disparity and dissent” funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, which will explore disability and community, and how new technologies change experiences of disability and community over time.

Who will benefit

The key beneficiaries of this project will be people with disabilities themselves. The outcomes of the study will offer information which will aim to improve service provision and quality of life for people with disabilities, not least by enabling the voices of people with disabilities to be heard as co-producers of the research.

This project also seeks to generate new insights and understandings across academic disciplines. In the first place, it will be of benefit to
academics working in the field of Disability Studies.

Design and development

We will be working with participants to explore lived experiences of disability and their engagement with assistive technology and the knowledge that such experiences generate, and to capture these in creative expression, including arts practice, play and performance.

By observing playful activities of young disabled children using Designability’s Wizzybug and their interactions with disabled and non-disabled peers, the degree to which new technologies can support play, social belonging and engagement will be explored. Moreover, methods for capturing and communicating the lived and emotional experiences of young children with disabilities, and their families, in a creative and collaborative manner, will be developed, and the role of new technologies in supporting research with non‐conventional participants, will be explored.

The research in this work stream will be considered in relation to exploring play as an expressive form between children as community members, observing and capturing play as a means of incorporating the experiences of very young or non-verbal research participants in this research and exploring the conceptual links between ‘technology’ and ‘toy’ in relation to play, self-expression and group affinities (‘playing together’).