Scholarly article on topic 'Walker Rehabilitation for Children with Disabilities: The Method User-centered'

Walker Rehabilitation for Children with Disabilities: The Method User-centered Academic research paper on "Computer and information sciences"

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Procedia Manufacturing
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{Design / "Inclusive Design" / "Assistive Tecnology" / "Pshysical Disability."}

Abstract of research paper on Computer and information sciences, author of scientific article — Eduardo Jorge Neves, Renato Fonseca Livramento da Silva, Leandro Lopes Pereira, Francisco islard Rocha de Moura, Marllon de Oliveira Freitas, et al.

Abstract This paper shows a product project that was developed by students of bachelor's degree in design of the Federal University of Paraíba (UFPB) with FUNAD (Support Foundation Persons with Disabilities). The Project has origin in a dynamics proposal in subject Product Project 1. This opportunity brought some real demands of situations experienced by the foundation. In addition to that, exposes the importance of a method centered in the user as an essential factor in development for assistive technologies. Those activities were developed by students groups, who choose one demand to take care, according to the organization structure of foundation which had been divided in coordinations by each kind of disabilities (Physical disability, visual, auditory and intellectual. The main goal of that activity was offer to the students some direct interactions with inclusive approach and resulting in experiences trade with professionals from other areas who were involved in that universe. For that it was used a method based from Munari (1998) proposal. As user is in the centre of the method all decisions and actions are been made to agree with the context dynamics. Moreover, it gives a sequence of advances and returns, when it is necessary, in total approach with use or their groups. In this way was possible to get some answers which were immediately applied, making continuous adjustments in our project. This kind of method has been widely used in design, always having the user as focus. Furthermore an approach centered in user allows discussing about the designer functions in our society, as well as his project actions and the ways to handle with users or clients, and how this can bring in positive results.

Academic research paper on topic "Walker Rehabilitation for Children with Disabilities: The Method User-centered"

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Procedía Manufacturing 3 (2015) 6140 - 6145

6th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE 2015) and the

Affiliated Conferences, AHFE 2015

Walker rehabilitation for children with disabilities: The method

user-centered

Eduardo Jorge Nevesa*, Renato Fonseca Livramento da Silvab, Leandro Lopes Pereirac, Francisco islard Rocha de Mourad, Marllon de Oliveira Freitase, Kléber cristiano Pereiraf

Federal University of Paraíba (UFPB), Rua da Mangueira, s/n - Centro, 58297-000, Rio Tinto, Brazil

Abstract

This paper shows a product project that was developed by students of bachelor's degree in design of the Federal University of Paraiba (UFPB) with FUNAD ( Support Foundation Persons with Disabilities). The Project has origin in a dynamics proposal in subject Product Project 1. This opportunity brought some real demands of situations experienced by the foundation. In addition to that, exposes the importance of a method centered in the user as an essential factor in development for assistive technologies. Those activities were developed by students groups, who choose one demand to take care, according to the organization structure of foundation which had been divided in coordinations by each kind of disabilities (Physical disability, visual, auditory and intellectual. The main goal of that activity was offer to the students some direct interactions with inclusive approach and resulting in experiences trade with professionals from other areas who were involved in that universe. For that it was used a method based from Munari (1998) proposal. As user is in the centre of the method all decisions and actions are been made to agree with the context dynamics. Moreover, it gives a sequence of advances and returns, when it is necessary, in total approach with use or their groups. In this way was possible to get some answers which were immediately applied, making continuous adjustments in our project. This kind of method has been widely used in design, always having the user as focus. Furthermore an approach centered in user allows discussing about the designer functions in our society, as well as his project actions and the ways to handle with users or clients, and how this can bring in positive results.

© 2015 TheAuthors.PublishedbyElsevierB.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of AHFE Conference

Keywords:Design; Inclusive Design;, Assistive Tecnology; Pshysical Disability.

Corresponding author. Tel.: +55-83-3291-4508; fax: +55-83-3291-1805. E-mail address: ej_jorge@hotmail.com

2351-9789 © 2015 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license

(http://creativecommons.Org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

Peer-review under responsibility of AHFE Conference

doi: 10.1016/j.promfg.2015.07.771

1. Introduction

What really are the greatest contributions of design field nowadays? How designers and students can make the difference for other people?We made those questions and we discovered that is possible make new connections between designers and non-design fields, especially when it is brought from students.

This paper wasorigined in a dynamics proposal of academic work in subject Product Project 1. The most interesting thing was that it brought some real demands of situations experienced by the FUNAD (Support Foundation for People with Disabilities). For this, some students groups chose one of several demands to take care, according to the organization structural of foundation. It is divided in departments by each kind of desabilities (phisical disability, visual, auditory and intelectual). Here is presented the design process applied to help people phisicaldisability who are learning to walk. Therefore, the mains goal of this work was the development of a walker equipment for people with limited mobility.We aimed to improve the development of children with analylis their walker equipment, and applying the principles of Universal Design.

As academic experience, it was importante to improve knowleges joining subjects like Product Project 1, Projective Drawing and other importante subjects related in this paper. In this way, we have no doubts about the difference between expose students on real demands or imaginary situations. Because this, is possible affirm that experiences like this consolidate our point of view that design has a multidisciplinar approach.

2. Methods

To stimulate in the students an enlargement of their perceptions about methodology, was proposed the development of a tool to assist in the development of Assistive Technology (AT). That new tool was created from studies of method proposed by Munari (2008). With that tool, we could place the user on centre of the process and hear their demands getting strategic information that only are allow by opened dialog. That new tool was called SATIERF and was structured in a circle by six steps: collecting; guidelines; analysis and technical definitions; generation of alternative solutions; improvements and final considerations.Because that, it does not follow exactly the same order of Munari (2008) method. In this case, all steps can succeed according with the dynamics imposed by the context and events brought by the surveyed users during the process. Nevertheless it can offer a sequence of progress and setbacks in the process. It is not a problem when the users are in constant acting with designers asking and giving the required answers in real time. In this way the results are considerably upper and most appropriate solutions to users' needs.

"Designers and architects are used to design for a mythical average man who is young, healthy, of medium height, who can always understand how new products works, that never tires, that doesn't make mistakes but that doesn't actually exist".[1] "Every individual is unique, and as a group, the human species is quite diverse, both in capacity both in knowledge."[2]

In this way, it was possible to seek answers that immediately were applied to the design process, and therefore it was possible a continuous adjustment of the real demands of users in relation to the project actions. "You can design and produce products, services or appropriate environments to this human diversity, including children, elders, people with disabilities, sick or injured, or simply, people placed at a disadvantage by circumstances. This approach is called" Inclusive Design." [3]

This kind of method is a current trend in design and is very present in the inclusive design field, which has the user or group of users as the main focus of attention.

2.1. Collecting

First of all, in the collecting step, we had a first contact with all kinds of disabilities for general analysis about possibilities of acting. It was possible with a visit to the foundation as a field research. During this step professionals of FUNAD could exposed their departments, activities and all demands on each category needs joining all related information. Still in this step, we defined that would be attended the physical disability area, called by them CODAFI. After that, started the detailed collecting with the users and technical and social aspects provided by the

foundation for its professionals of rehabilitation. We also interviewed users, professionals and coordinators for collect all the information about their work environment. It was a kind of immersion in their social reality. Also in this step we could get important information about physical aspects, sensorial and cognitive about people out of average dimensions and characteristics. At the final of this step the guidelines were discussed.

2.2. Guidelines

Here the issues and the target group were analyzed for a better establishment of guidelines. It were identified several problems that have origin in the products used by them. Moreover the products do not satisfactorily performs its functions. From these questions, we decided that the new product should include the principle of ergonomics and universal design. The target group is children'smotor running in rehabilitation.

The quantity of FUNAD's users, the institutional environment, the difficulties faced by operators, and the products and process used by them. Therefore, between what was perceived, we detached the walkers, because it has remarkable ergonomics problems, and also because it have been used by children in rehab. The next step was formed by analysis and technical definitions which had been defined all requirements and parameters for our project. In that moment we were exposed our limits and goals to solve the problems found. The approach to operators of physics disabilities was determinant for collecting information about the walker, and getting real examples of the limitations brought by that equipment. On the fourth step, called generation of alternatives solutions, were elaborated concepts and sketches considering all the information obtained. On the improvement step were considered the weaknesses of our proposal beyond most important factors, as ergonomics and universal design aspects. On the last step, we made the final considerations and our proposal was verified again and therefore taken to better results.

2.3. Analysis and Technical Definitions

In this step we checked all information together professionals and target group for an exact definition of requirements and parameters. It ensures that all demands would be answered. The table 1 contains requirements and parameters clustered as market, structure, ergonomics and aesthetics.

Table 1.Requirements and parameters.

Requirements Parameters Priority

Market Low costs Medium costs recommended

Structure Easy motion Wills required

Adjustable Up to 3 settings for height, width and length recommended

Metal alloy Iron recommended

Identification of the material Easy to recycle recommended

Ergonomics handle coarse Diameter 35 mm required

Organic shape Bigger than 90° required

Physical arrangement Universal recommended

Aesthetcs Collors bright colors for the user (children) recommended

Another important requirement was related that the product should answer the seven principles of Universal Design. That principles were created by Ron Mace at the Center for Universal Design at the State University of North Carolina (USA) in the early 1980s. These principles, purse for an extended form, and also be applied to guide

Design projects on the characteristics that make the objects and environments easier to use. According to Bispo and Simoes[1] are seven principles: Equitable Use; Flexibility in use; Simple and intuitive to use; Noticeable information; Tolerance to error; Low physical effort; Size and space for approach use.The definition of specific guidelines does not limit the creativity of the designer, only sets the scene in which that creativity should be applied in a more objective way. "Creativity does not mean improvisation without (...) method. A series of activities design method operations is made of objective values that become working tools in the hands of creative designer."[4]

2.4. Generation and Analysis of Alternatives

At this stage of the project were used methods that stimulate creativity, for example, brainstorm and 635 Method. In addition to talks with members of the foundation and further reading to occur a greater understanding and immersion in the problem.After the generation of alternatives was chosen that met the highest number ofguidelines.

The chosen alternative, would now be enhanced and would subsequently generated a physical model of them. However, as the method values the greater interaction with the user during the time of projecting, the alternative was taken for analysis coordinators and rehabilitation of FUNAD. After some suggestions and some technical requirements which rehabilitators found essential for the product, the chosen alternative was taken to the phase of improvements.

Fig. l.Sketches.

2.5. Enhancements

In enhancement step, were added to the product suggestions from rehabilitation and began the technical detailing phase of the alternative, study of colors and analysis related to compliance with the principles of Universal Design, in addition to 3D representation model and creation of technical design.

Fig. 2.3D Model

The design of the walker allows a easier rehabilitation process. Because of shape with a main central axis, so that its use in locomotion is facilitated time since the rehabilitation of leg will be more free. Aluminium was set for every frame as it is a lightweight and easy to manufacture material, also the handles regulation system can be applied.

Fig.3. Simulation of use.

The seat where the rehabilitation is sitting, as well as their support and the support of the child, are adjustable for that users of different heights and body dimensions can use the product. The child's support and the support of the rehabilitation are coated for greater comfort. The wheels are solid rubber, since they do not stick and is highly durable. The wheels, the bank and the system settings that were entered in the project, aimed that the FUNAD, if necesserary, can find the parts easily in the market, which prevents the product is to be frequently changed. Thus facilitating its maintenance.

2.6. Considerations

In the last stage of SATIERF method, we developed a physical model in reduced scale of the walker to make it possible to evaluate some ergonomic issues, size and user interaction. Thus, it was realized that the solution meets the foundation's needs. It was also perceived by projecting team that the method focuses the user is more efficient.

Since many of the adjustments were made during the project and does not impair the following steps. Unlike the linear methods, that the completion of the project, present and only then happens feedback for adjustments.Thus causing increased wear of the projecting team and thus hindering the planned time for delivery of the final solution.

3. Conclusion

Has been reported the need for FUNAD to have products that have a greater concern with the ergonomic criteria, which will result in positive changes in the foundation, with treatments and more efficient rehabilitation since the products will not generate difficulties for rehabilitation, but in fact will help in the process rehabilitation of their patients. What will bring direct benefits to users that may use the services of FUNAD.

The achieved result was positive as the walker follows principles of universal design, for examples we have:

• Equitable Use: The product, even being to a specific audience can be used by multiple users, due to its settings.

• Flexibility in use: If must take into account the capacities of individual user and demand meet them as best we can, for example, to provide for righties and lefties.

• Simple and intuitive use: The product is easy to use, both for rehabilitation that are already up to the task and to the children who come to use it. The handles that are already quite widespread in the market due to this will not be finding problems of how you can adjust the product.

• Noticeable Information: The product colors show the main functions of the walker, making easier perception its use.

• Tolerance error: We avoided as the walker, pointed shapes with 90 ° angle, and coating where the user uses the product most.

• Low physical effort: Aluminium, lightweight material, was chosen so that the walker has low weight for the rehabilitation do less physical effort to use it.

Were also considered basic ergonomic factors, such as: physical achievements, popular stereotype, type and handle size, postures in which the walker will be used, security, cleaning and maintenance of the product.After an overview of the project development, was perceived by the team with the use of a design support tool user-centric, the solution was prepared effectively.

It was concluded at the end of this classroom experience, that the possibility of effective participation of all actors involved in the problem led to an increased performance in the whole process, resulting in better management of development time, with the necessary adjustments to the structuring a more efficient solution to the problem presented.

References

[1,2,3] R. Bispo, F. SimSes. Design Inclusivo: Acessibilidade e Usabilidade em Produtos, Servi9os e Ambientes. 2a Edi9ao. Centro Portugues de

Design, Portugal, 2006 [4]B.Munari. Das coisas nascem coisas. Martins Editora. Sao Paulo,2008.