Wednesday, September 14, 2011

All Abilities ePlayground #a11y #assistivetech #spedtech #spedchat #tck

All Abilities ePlayground is an online, or virtual, playground that features fun and games that are accessible to children of ALL abilities. This site, which is based in Australia, is an initiative of the Gold Coast City Council supported by the Department of Communities (Disability Services) and developed by Sonokids Australia.  The All Abilities ePlayground reflects the values and aims of 17 outdoor all abilities playgrounds funded by the Queensland Government.  Learn more about this ground-breaking project enabling all children to participate in play - Queensland All Abilities Playground Project.

The All Abilities ePlayground, which was developed to create a way for children to visit an all abilities playground from anywhere, aims to:
  • reflect an all-inclusive and safe play environment
  • offer fun, innovative and accessible ways of interactive online play
  • stimulate and support imagination, skills development and cognitive learning
  • allow a child with a disability to play as independently as possible
  • create awareness and acceptance of alternative ways to play
  • support integration and mutual understanding by play and interaction

The ePlayground features a number of entertaining actions as well as 4 games: IbisBuster, Memory, TrixMix, and Roo Hill Thrill.
  1. IbisBuster - adventure game in which the player collects different "good things" and "shoo" Iris the ibis who tries to steal them.  The game is accompanied with a great adventure story.
  2. Memory - puzzle-type game that involves finding the matching pairs of sounds and images
  3. Trix Mix - creative game with music and animations that allows the child to mix and record musical sounds to a set beat.
  4. Roo Hill Thrill - action game with a fantasy setting in which a kangaroo must surf over hills and avoid beach balls.

The entire site features audio instructions\narration by BuddyFly, who guides children through the playground.

Also, please note that you will need to complete a FREE registration to use the site.

With regards to accessibility, there are two versions of All Abilities ePlayground:

1.  Mouse and keyboard ePlayground - recommended for children who are able to use a mouse or keyboard.  This version is also accessible for children who are blind using a screen reader.  There are a number of ways the games in this version could be accessed: mouse & keyboard,  interactive whiteboard, touch screen, or trackball\joystick.

2.  Automatic scanning ePlayground - In this version, all actions as well as the games are played feature automatic scanning.  Access options include single switch, space bar, mouse left-click, puffing into microphone (Puff2Play™) , or interactive whiteboard.

The activities and games on the site have been tested by children with print disability, autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, learning difficulties, speech impairments, cognitive delays, and physical impairments.

-  Jeremy
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