Cyborg Nerf Blaster for Disabled Kids

Tim Tietze

Tim wanted to create a toy for children with physical disabilities that used their special skills to promote inclusion.

The problem this final year project sought to address was that children with physical disabilities are often excluded from the toy world of able-bodied children. Toys with small buttons, heavy weight or that require two hands to operate are examples of how children with physical disabilities experience failure. Alternative toys tend to cater to their abilities but forget about their real needs. These needs include group play, rebellious play and active play.

The analysis was carried out through literature research, visits to schools and clubs and interviews with occupational therapists. The research concluded with an understanding of how a blaster could support the inclusion of children with physical disabilities. A matrix was created linking three identified skills to the tasks required to operate a blaster. Several “how to” questions were used to generate different ideas for operating a blaster. Two loops of expert evaluation lead to a final direction for the toy.

The Aequitas NERF blaster is more inclusive for users with physical disabilities by separating the trigger from the blaster itself. This allows the blaster to be easily attached to different objects, making it accessible to everyone. Different shells for the trigger adjust how the blaster is activated, making it easy for everyone to join in the fun.

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