Wednesday, February 28, 2024 | 07:30 WIB

ITS student designs toy for visually-impaired children


IO, Surabaya – “Never cease innovating!” Now it is a student of the Sepuluh November Institute of Technology (ITS) who presents her final project (TA) for children with visual impairment, by creating a special toy. Fikria Nur Baiti, a graduate of the ITS Industrial Product Design Department designed a toy named “BaaDaaBoo” by combining several games specifically created for blind children still at a tender age.

Until now, toys specifically for children with visual impairment have been difficult to find. The student, familiarly known as “Betty” explained that the game often encountered is directly focused on learning Braille (a type of touch writing system intended for blind people). “Special toys are still rare, especially those to support the active motion of (visually impaired) children,” said Betty, in a release received by the Independent Observer, Thursday (03/12/2020).

The teenager from Gresik explained that the game she made was targeted at children who were still at an age of play. “This is because for ages 4 to 6, toys are more focused on learning textures and orientation of mobility, or moving around in certain directions. Training of motor skills and the concept of direction in children is acquired at the same time when playing with these toys,” she said.

The size of this toy is quite large. If a set is fitted together, it can reach 2 x 2 meters. “This toy is made in the form of a puzzle, so that its configuration can be changed,” said the Class of 2015 student. Toy trajectories can be changed at will: it can make turns or go straight, and so on.

The toy track that she designed appears as a direction. “Along the track, there are also pieces of various forms of puzzles and their bases, so that children can work with puzzles by matching their shapes,” she said.

Puzzles are available in various geometric shapes, namely, triangles, circles, squares and pentagons made with variations of fine and rough textures. There are also sounds of songs about geometric shapes that can be played while playing. Children can follow audio tracks while playing puzzles to make it more fun and not boring.

With one game, according to Betty, quite a lot of benefits are gained by children. Among others, it can train a sensitive sense of touch, train the concept of direction by concentrating when walking along the track, and also mobility orientation. This toy is safe for the blind to use, as it is composed of EVA rubber, commonly known as sponge rubber.

“This toy has been tried by children with visual impairments in SLB (Extraordinary Schools) in Surabaya and Gresik; they also like to play geometric puzzles and like the sound of the toy,” said Betty.

Betty will graduate this coming Sunday (3/15), and acknowledges many shortcomings in her final work. Because time is short, Betty put together a prototype of this toy, helped by her friends. She hopes it can be further developed. “I want this toy to be produced and given to schools that need it later, so that children with visual impairment can benefit directly.” (*/est)


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