Switch Kit Workshop at Kindering Redmond

Steele Lab members, Mia Hoffman, and Katie Landwehr led a “Switch Kit” Workshop at Kindering in Redmond, WA.

The workshop aimed to teach Pediatric Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists, Speech-Language Pathologists, and Educators how to use a new system we have designed with local families and clinicians for inclusive play options in early intervention. The Kindering Team also got to try a variety of adaptive switches Mia, Kate, and Alisha made. Stay tuned for more on this project.

Mia Hoffman featured on the Department of Mechanical Engineering website!


Mia Hoffman on “Gears of Progress” Podcast

Gears of Progress Episode Two featuring Mia Hoffman on early childhood mobility, young kids as participants, and accessibility of research for people with disabilities.

“Gears of Progress” Episode Two featured Mia Hoffman on early childhood mobility, young kids as participants, and accessibility of research for people with disabilities.

Gears of Progress Logo with three gears featuring assistive devices

Name: Gears of Progress

Platforms: Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music, Castbox

Release frequency: bi-weekly on Fridays

Theme: Podcast about research and innovations in rehabilitation engineering and assistive technologies aimed to improve accessibility for people with disabilities. Every episode will feature engineers, medical professionals, end-users, and organizations who focus on improving the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities. We will be covering topics such as emerging tech, outcome measures, medical practice, public policy, accessibility education, and so much more!


ME Hoffman, KM Steele, JE Froehlich, KN Winfree, HA Feldner (2023) “Off to the park: a geospatial investigation of adapted ride-on car usage”

Journal Article in Disability & Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology:

The accessibility of the built environment is an important factor to consider when providing a mobility device to a young child and their family to use in the community.

Figure 8. The accessibility scores for the sidewalks near each Participant’s (P5, P10, P17) home on the left and the drive path of the participant on the right. Participants generally avoided driving on streets that were not accessible.

Aim: To quantify the driving patterns of children using an adapted ride-on car in their home and community environment over the course of a year using an integrated datalogger.

Method: Fourteen children (2.5 ± 1.45 years old, 8 male: 6 female) used adapted ride-on cars outside and inside of their homes over the course of a year. We tracked their device use metrics with a custom datalogger and geospatial data. To measure environmental accessibility, we used the AccessScore from Project Sidewalk, an open-source accessibility mapping initiative, and the Walk Score, a measure of neighborhood pedestrian-friendliness.

Results: More play sessions took place indoors, within the participants’ homes. However, when the adapted ride-on cars were used outside the home, children engaged in longer play sessions, actively drove for a larger portion of the session, and covered greater distances. Most children tended to drive their ROCs in close proximity to their homes. Most notably, we found that children drove more in pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods and when in proximity to accessible paths.

Interpretation: The accessibility of the built environment is paramount when providing any form of mobility device to a child. Providing an accessible place for a child to move, play, and explore is critical in helping a child and family adopt the mobility device into their daily life.