Go play with Jooay

Guest_Blogger By Guest_Blogger On April 17, 2015 Community Spotlight
With the support of the Rick Hansen Foundation, members of McGill University’s School of Physical and Occupational Therapy have created a free mobile application to help children with disabilities and their families have a little more fun.

The application is called Jooay – a reference to jouer, which means “to play” in French. Families can use it to find information about local leisure activities including physical play, and music and art classes that are tailored to suit children of all abilities.

Connecting children of all abilities

The creators of the application, including Associate Dean Annette Majnemer and faculty member Keiko Shikako-Thomas, received funding support from the Rick Hansen Foundation Quality of Life program, as well as other partners.

They were inspired to create Jooay when research revealed that children with disabilities have a lower rate of participation in leisure activities, in part because families didn’t have good information about various programs in their communities.

Sharing information, contacts and support

Jooay aims to solve that problem. Parents can search for activities that are suitable for the specific needs of their children, and contribute to the list of resources. A GPS function provides location information, and discussion boards help parents and caregivers to connect with each other, share information, build communities, and offer support.

Developers for Jooay are collaborating with Planat, the Rick Hansen Foundation’s online tool that allows users to submit and obtain reviews on the accessibility of buildings and public spaces. Planat ratings will be incorporated into the Jooay app, and vice-versa: Jooay venues will be added to Planat, and locations will be shared within the Planat online platform.

Jooay 1.0 is currently available for iOS and lists resources from Quebec. Jooay 2.0 will be available soon for iOS and Android, and will list adapted leisure activities for Quebec (in English and French), Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Saskatchewan. The free app for iOS and Android will be available at the App store, Google Play and at www.jooay.com.

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