The University of Edinburgh has already recognized the benefit of musical instruments aimed at children with motor problems with its Skoog instrument. Similarly, the MidiWing is an electronic musical device that can be operated using multiple controllers, opening up access to young people without the dexterity to master traditional instruments.
The MidiWing has existed as a concept and prototype for a while, but was put on the backburner when the microprocessor used by creator Dan Daily was discontinued. Now, Daily has won funding and technical assistance from the New Mexico Small Business Assistance program which he hopes will get the product on the market. The MidiWing uses a MIDI interface to create the sounds of various instruments electronically, much like a standard electronic piano. Rather than keys, the device is compatible with a joystick, mouse or other controllers used by children with conditions that restrict the use of their hands. According to Kent Pfeifer, who is collaborating with Daily through the NMSBA program: “You can play it with your mouth, your feet or a single hand”.
The MidiWing aims to help young people with dexterity difficulties feel empowered by mastering an instrument tailored to them. How else can technology help those with disabilities to be even more involved in creative activities?
Spotted by: Lily Dixon