A Ball State University senior from Monroeville is learning how to help children with disabilities play.
Through an immersive learning course, Madison Castleman is creating an interactive play wall designed to help such children improve skills including coordination and problem-solving, according to a news release.
The college students' work is benefiting Children's TherAplay Foundation in Carmel, which serves children with cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, traumatic brain injury and developmental delays, the release said.
“I have had to do a lot of research on autism, Down syndrome, and other disabilities and how people who live with them are affected by the world,” Castleman said in a statement. “This knowledge will help me in the future when designing public spaces and how to keep these people in mind so that my designs can be used by all.”
Castleman expects to graduate in May with a degree in interior design.
The sensory wall she is developing will have a sensory gel pad, a mini Plinko game and light-up shapes, the release said.
“When the wall piece is folded down,” Castleman added, “it reveals a table with more sensory activities such as a kinetic sand pit, shoelaces to help with hand motor skills and learning to tie, and a magnetic ball maze.”
The immersive learning course is led by Shireen Kanakri, associate professor of interior design.
“We are specifically designing the pieces that will be used to help treat the children,” Kanakri said in a statement.
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