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Please note, masking is still mandatory at Holland Bloorview. A medical grade mask will be available upon entry.


A personalizable access technology for children with cerebral palsy and complex communication needs


Access technologies can help people with severe motor impairments communicate. However, many of the available devices have limited customization potential. We have created an access technology which users will be able to personalize at home to recognize their specific vocalizations, keywords and/or facial movements. We want to evaluate the performance and usability of this new access technology.

Call to action

Do you have a child with cerebral palsy and complex communication needs? Consider participating in a research study about a novel access technology personalizable at home.

Who can participate

We are looking for children who are between 6 and 18 years old, have cerebral palsy (GMFCS level IV-V, MACS level II-V, VSS level II-III-IV), do not have medically refractory epilepsy and/or seizures triggered by light stimulus, have a stable comfortable seating position, are able to reliably indicate yes/no, have sufficient vision/hearing to identify prompts on a screen, have an existing access technology used at least 3 times/week for communication or writing.

Funding agency

Cerebral Palsy Alliance Research Foundation

What's involved

Part 1

Participants will be asked complete up to 10 sessions of 45 minutes, either at Holland Bloorview or virtually over Zoom. During sessions 1 to 5, they will personalize an access technology software with the help of their parent(s) by recording audio/video data while they perform simple activation tasks (e.g., blinking, saying “next” or “iiiiih”). During the following 2 sessions, parents will review and annotate their child’s words and/or movements. In the remaining 3 sessions, participants will play a custom video game to test the performance of the personalized access technology software. During each session, we will record audio and video. At the end of the last session, participants will be asked to fill a usability questionnaire.

Part 2

This will take place at home over a period of up to 3 weeks. Participants will be asked to play a custom video game to test the performance of the personalized access technology software, a minimum of 3 times for 30 minutes each time. We will also record audio and video and ask participants to fill a usability questionnaire and a video game questionnaire.

Interested in participating

If you are interested in participating in this study or have additional questions, please contact Sarah Irwin at or 416-425-6220 x3270 with your interest, and they will get back to your shortly. Contacting us does not obligate you or your child to participate in the study.

Learn more about this study