About Digital Respite
The Digital Respite directory is an initiative of the Connected Lives project, which ran from 2009 to 2010. (Scroll down for more information on Connected Lives.)
The aim of Digital Respite is to provide an ongoing and evolving online clearinghouse of freely available educational and non-violent games and other software that suit young people living with disabilities. Games are categorised according to a range of criteria that may help young people, carers and health workers choose which games might be suitable for particular individuals.
As of 2011, the Digital Respite directory is being managed by the Melbourne-based community organisation Action on Disability in Ethnic Communities (ADEC: www.adec.org.au), which works with families from ethnic cultures living with disabilities.
Please feel free to add games/software to the directory, or to contact us with any enquiries. We will do our best to help.
About the Connected Lives project:
The Connected Lives project explored how digital technologies might be deployed to improve the connectedness and wellbeing of young people disadvantaged in multiple ways including disability, geographic isolation, cultural and social disadvantage. It was funded by the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth) and was led by Dale Linegar from Oztron Media and Dr Stefan Schutt from Victoria University.
Working with individual young people and parents as well as within specialist schools and community centres in Gippsland and Melbourne, the project team deployed a suite of technologies including virtual worlds, digital video, media creation software and games. Activities were based on the interest of each young person.
The project found that the interface of technology and young people is complex, with many factors determining the type and level of interaction including setting, disability type, software interface design, gender, age, support structures and level of literacy. However, an interest in technology (either for its own sake or as an enabler of activities) pervaded all settings, and some software (such as the Crayon Physics game) demonstrated near-universal appeal. Young people and their families were also observed initiating positive forms of social interaction through the mediation of software, such as playing the same game together (a concept known as ‘object oriented sociality’).