A platform toy for children with special educational needs





In childhood, play is critical to the successful development of children, and it can be regarded as the most important activity in their daily life, allowing interaction and discovery of the world around them. Consequently, it is important to ensure that this birthright is protected and accessible to every child, including those with special needs. Professionals, such as therapists, are often in a position where they can take advantage of the inclusion of toys in their therapies with children. Although, toys are not alike, and they must be carefully thought to be able to fulfil the child’s needs. This paper presents a proposal and the first validation of an inclusive toy, entitled “HugMe”, developed and designed with special attention for children who have cognitive and motor impairments and continue to be appealing to all children.

Author Biography

Demétrio Matos, ID+, School of Design, Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave, Barcelos, Portugal

Adjunct Professor at the Design School (ESD) of the Polytechnic Institute of Cávado and Ave (IPCA), being director of the Department of Industrial Design and Product since 2017 and director of the degree course in Industrial Design since 2016. PhD in Design, by the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Lisbon (FA.UL), in the area of knowledge in Industrial Design, Master in Industrial Design from the Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto (FEUP) in partnership with the School of Arts and Design of Matosinhos (ESAD) and graduated in Equipment Design from the School of Arts and Design of Matosinhos (ESAD). Member of the Research Institute in Design, Media and Culture (ID +), researcher in the research group in the health area. The main areas of interest include industrial design, health design, human enhancement and inclusive design.


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How to Cite

Ferreira, R. ., Matos, D., Carvalho, V. ., & Soares, F. . (2022). A platform toy for children with special educational needs. Journal of Accessibility and Design for All, 12(1), 1–25. https://doi.org/10.17411/jacces.v12i1.250