Monday, November 9, 2009

Gene's excellent adventure in the Bronx

I was warmly welcomed at the Institute in the Bronx this morning. First I met with Tina (the school computer teacher and TG liaison) and eventually with 4 of the five O&M specialists. It was nice to see Jim Waters again (he’s been around the profession for decades and has done some work with deafblind travelers), and the other younger COMS.

They were all very interested in the project. I reviewed a bit of the history and theory for the project, reviewed the physical space, and then went out on the campus to see the prospective subjects travel with their canes.

Great news – we have 16 very good potential subjects. Tina will contact Ellen regarding how to proceed: contact all 16 households, or start with eight and see how it goes. They anticipate a very high positive response rate (because of the stipend).

There are some of the issues that you will see followed up upon:

- they need instructions on how the prepare the room, where the lights will be affixed, and what needs to be removed from the room

- many of the COMS want to be present when their students participate.

- I explained that during the project we are not officially asking for the specialists feedback on the device (the IRB would consider them subject which would complicate things) but that we will eventually and outside the experiment protocol love to hear their ideas.

These kids all seems to have the capacity to tap a cane and maintain forward movement, so I think we will be fine. They are all at least 6 and as old as fifth grade takes them.

It was so nice to sit around with these colleagues and talk about the project. It was obvious that they were all excited.


GB said...

I should note that not one kid I saw all day (they have about 80) was using 2-point-touch.

sl said...

sounds like a great trip, gene. They are all excited up there, I hope we don't let them down if it doesn't work perfectly at this first site.

GB said...

Steve, we had a realistic discussion regarding the possibilities of the device, the current limited capacities, and how this go 'round we are looking at the feasibility of the device, not necessarily effectively training and shaping the kids' mobility behavior.