KidsCraft is a visual app to help children with autism or anyone with speech impairments to communicate easier. KidsCraft is geared at speech therapists, behavior interventionists, and other professionals who work with children with autism. Based on Picture Exchange Communication system (PECS), KidsCraft gives the user a set of “cards” organized into categories. The users are then able to form to utilize a combination of cards to form lines of communication.
Disclaimer: this app is merely a supplement to existing tools. Unlike other apps, there’s no right or wrong way to use this tool. It’s entirely up to the professional to customize and adapt to their client.
KidsCraft is currently in the early stages and is built with the assistance of the CodeForSanJose community as an open-source project. You can contribute to the project at Github
The idea was to take all of the positive attributes of a physical PECS system and put it in a digital version. Going digital offers a lot of benefits such as small form factor and extra-interactivity.
While there are existing apps that do similar things, they are not user-friendly or affordable. I also decided to approach this from the perspective of a professional working in the work field. This means each professional will have user-profiles for each client. Each profile is responsible for client’s data such as points, progress, and customized cards.
The first prototype was based on the need to be able to test app responses with users. It includes “home” and “choose profile” windows.
In the home window, is most of the action happens. The window is divided into 3 parts
1) Header – Holds logo and button. Present on all pages.
2) Stage – When the user clicks on cards, it magically appears on the stage. When the user clicks anywhere on the stage, text-to-speech happens
3) Grid – Set of cards are displayed in categories
In the choose profile window, professionals can choose the profile they wish to sign onto.
As of right now, our feature list includes:
– Progressive app that works well on all devices
– A “professional” to sign-in
– Allow “professional” to store individual “client-profiles”
– Set of cards w/title displayed on grid
– Cards stored into categories
– Text-to-speech triggered when the stage is clicked
– Allow users to add/customize cards
That’s it for now folks. I hope it was easy to swallow. Next blog post I will attempt to revise a lot of the prototyping.