Lifestyle New app to help children with disabilities stay active

New app to help children with disabilities stay active

Curtin University researchers are rolling out a free app to help children with disabilities access leisure activities in Western Australia.

Curtin University researchers are helping to create an Australian version of the research-informed app Jooay, with the roll-out to be funded by the 2017 Dr Louisa Alessandri Research Grant.

Lead researcher Professor Catherine Elliott, from the School of Occupational Therapy and Social Work at Curtin University, said the aim was to promote community-based recreation among children and young people with disabilities to improve their health and wellbeing.

“In Australia, seven per cent of all children aged up to 17 years have a disability and many of those children have difficulty participating in leisure activities in their communities,” Professor Elliott said.

“Children with a disability, their parents and clinicians have told us that not having access to or being aware of opportunities to participate in activities was a major barrier for them.”

Professor Elliott said the app will deliver a practical solution to break down those barriers and benefit the lives of children and young people with disabilities by helping them take part in community-based leisure activities.

“Importantly, this research directly involves the design and delivery of supports and services to people with disabilities, by people with disabilities as they will play a key role in providing feedback in the app’s development,” she said.

The grant will fund the development and maintenance of the app as well as the creation of a community inventory of more than 1,000 potential leisure activities across WA, including metropolitan, regional and remote areas.

“We expect these benefits to ultimately result in a better quality of life for children and young people with disabilities across the state,” Professor Elliot said.

Read more about the project here. Story credit: Curtin University newsroom.

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