Researchers from Monash University have developed individual electronic toolkits designed to promote STEM knowledge, logical thinking and creativity for people living with intellectual disabilities.
Boffins from the University’s Faculty of Information Technology have developed TronicBoards, a series of customized color-coded printed circuit boards with large controls designed to easily create schematics for a variety of intellectual abilities.
Candidate of Science, lead researcher Hashini Senaratne said the boards are designed to expand the availability of simplified electronic tools that aim to engage people in technology, as they are often inaccessible to people with intellectual disabilities.
“We developed TronicBoards as the chosen set of electronic modules to close this gap in accessibility,” he said.
“These boards can be combined with conductive tape and other electronic components including LEDs, vibrating motors, buzzers and buttons to create and demonstrate working electronic circuits.”
The design of the boards was based on workshops conducted by study co-author Dr. Kirsten Ellis with 148 adults with intellectual disabilities.
“We found that participants with varying degrees of support were able to interact logically with the boards, complete workable schemes, and in some cases were also able to add creativity and create personally meaningful objects such as adding light to a mirror and music box. which can change melodies with a slider switch, ”Senaratne said.