NEC Foundation of America has awarded NJIT a $32,000 grant to support the dissemination and use of therapeutic video games to serve children with severe sensory and motor disabilities.
Herschel Salan, vice president and general manager of NEC Financial Services LLC, presented the check at a special luncheon and tour of the facility last month. The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology for Children with Orthopedic Disabilities at NJIT has developed a prototype of the Hands-Up video game software, with the support of the U.S. Department of Education’s National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research.
“The game will improve neuro-plasticity through intensive and repetitive training,” said Richard Foulds, PhD, center director and associate professor in the department of biomedical engineering. Foulds expects more than 50 partners to receive and test the free software, instruction and evaluation materials. Ongoing technical assistance will be available.
Other projects at NJIT’s Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center include research on robot-assisted therapy, modeling and remediation of spasticity, the improvement of bone density in non-ambulatory children and child-machine interfaces for wheelchair-mounted robots.
Outreach activities at the Center include graduate education in rehabilitation engineering, pre-college (for students with and without disabilities) exposure to rehabilitation engineering and community awareness of assistive technology and rehabilitation engineering.
For more information about NEC Foundation of America, including application guidelines, please call 631.232.2212, or visit www.necfoundation.org. NEC Foundation of America was established in 1991 and endowed at $10 million by NEC Corporation and its United States subsidiaries. Income generated by the endowment is donated to nonprofit organizations in the United States in support of programs with national reach and impact in the arena of assistive technology for people with disabilities. Through its grants, NEC Foundation of America underscores its philosophy of advancing society through technology and enabling individuals to realize their full potential.