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Studying early access to powered mobility for kids with disabilities

Studying early access to powered mobility for kids with disabilities

Previous studies have shown that battery-powered, adapted toy ride-on cars can be used by young children with disabilities to socialize and independently explore their world. In this study, we measure how children learn to use a powered mobility device, and how using the device impacts the child’s movement, language skills, communication, and development. We believe that this research will provide insight for designers, engineers, and rehabilitation professionals to make powered mobility options more accessible for a wider range of children with disabilities.We are currently recruiting children ages 1-5 with a disability or developmental delay that impacts their movement, along with at least one caregiver. In this study, families will attend in-lab play sessions at the AMP lab on UW’s Seattle campus. The child will use a powered mobility device (the Permobil Explorer Mini) to explore a fun and interactive play space! We have several study options with varying time commitments, but families would be expected to participate in no more than 2 sessions per week, for 2 hours each. Families will be compensated $25 for each visit.Study activities also include measurements of the child’s movement, language, and muscle activity using small, non-invasive sensors, developmental, participation, and mobility technology learning assessments, and caregiver surveys and questionnaires.Link to Study Flyer: https://www.dropbox.com/s/pt92fa02ao3lbh0/Flyer_EarlyPoweredMobility.pdf?dl=0Link to Explorer Mini: https://www.permobil.com/en-us/products/power-wheelchairs/permobil-explorer-mini

Participant Eligibility

Eligible child participants will be ages 1-5 with a disability or developmental delay that impacts their movement. Children should be able to attain a seated position (with or without support), and tolerate being seated (with or without support) while moving through space for 30 minutes.

Eligible caregiver participants will be 18 years or older and the legal caregiver for the child participant. Adults in this study need to be able to provide informed consent in English.


Kimberly Ingraham
(630) 485-0812

Additional Study Details

Full Study Title
Investigating the impacts of powered mobility use on the movement, language skills, and cognitive development of children with developmental disabilities

Study ID: STUDY00014879
Start Date: 03/04/2022
End Date: 09/30/2023

Dr. Heather Feldner
Dr. Kat Steele
Dr. Patricia Kuhl
Dr. Andrew Meltzoff

Accepts Healthy Volunteers?

Study Site(s)

Wallace Hall, University of Washington

3737 Brooklyn Avenue Northeast AMP Lab
Seattle, Washington 98105


Use the link below to send a message to the study coordinator, or call the number above to speak directly with a study representative.

I am interested in this research study.