Elaine Biddiss: Possible Engineering

Enabling technologies in pediatric rehabilitation

Elaine BiddissDr. Elaine Biddiss is a scientist with the Bloorview Research Institute at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital and an Assistant Professor with the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto.  Her research focuses on the design of technologies enable disabled children to participate more fully in arts, music, physical activities and therapies. 

Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital is Canada’s largest children’s rehabilitation centre and serves over 7000 clients with a broad range of conditions from cerebral palsy to autism spectrum disorders. The success of rehabilitation therapies hinges on our ability to “change the brain” in a process called neuroplasticity.  Neuroplasticity relies on 4 key elements:  repetition, slowly increasing difficulty/complexity, feedback, and motivation. Particularly in pediatric rehabilitation, “designing for fun” is essential for ensuring patient adherence and motivation in therapies.  This talk will overview the design and evaluation of fun technologies that open up possibilities for children with disabilities to engage in physical activity and therapies, music, and the arts.   Specifically, you will:

·        Explore the possibilities of interactive computer play (virtual reality therapy) for enacting neuroplasticity

·        Find out if a set of musical stairs increases children’s participation in physical therapies.

·        Hear the music of the body and how we are using these sounds as a communication pathway for children with disabilities.

·        See an accessible and interactive art installation designed to decrease anxiety in healthcare waiting spaces. 

Here is the talk by Elaine Biddiss on Oct 29, 2013!


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