The client is 9 years old and attends a mainstream school. She is significantly affected by her cerebral palsy. Her cognitive and social ability means she is keen to engage with the curriculum and with her peers. However, her physical limitations really impact her ability to independently engage in many everyday activities in school. She requires a 1:1 assistant at all times for physical assistance. She has identified she would like to be able to attract her teachers attention the way that other children put their hands up. But as she can’t initiate this arm movement she relies on communicating with her 1:1 which is frustrating for her. She would like to find a way of visually attracting the teacher’s attention and activate this herself.
The device needed to be high enough that the teacher could see it, obvious enough that it would attract the teacher’s attention, but not be distracting for the rest of the class so had to be silent. It was also decided that it should not have moving parts or be heavy to avoid any potential injury to the 1:1 or classmates. What was developed was a lightweight light with a timing controller and power supply plus a head switch, all of which was attached to the client’s wheelchair headrest. The electronics combined a doorbell with an LED torch and it was housed in a custom designed 3D printed case and holster that was attached to the headrest by wide velcro. This allows the device to be removed when not in use.
Light with built in controller and battery pack. Separate wireless head button
A look inside the components
The final version of the Hands Up light in action
It allows the client to better participate in class and provides a level of independence and control that was not previously available to her.