Thanks to the feedback I received from my peers and panel judges I’ve been able to fine tune my idea after pitching it to the public.
The first issue that arose was whether the name was appropriate. In all honesty, I was a little taken aback, I thought Hii Skills was a great idea! Then as I delved in a bit further, it became apparent that the judges were right – there was surely a better option out there floating around in the land of creativity. I took a step back and had a look at what Hii Skills was fundamentally all about. The program wasn’t just about skills, it has a more significant focus on movement patterns and coordination (component of fitness) rather than specific ability set. So I had a little trouble making something cool/catchy sounding from Hii and coordination (who wouldn’t), so I changed tactics a bit and decided on ‘Aim Hii’, drawing on the personal achievements and accomplishments each individual strives through their involvement in this program. Instead of suggesting that students must make a specific skill level in order to be successful (and that skills are all that are participated in), instead it alludes to the fact you can still ‘aim hii’ during the enjoyable, game-based tasks which target coordination and movement patterns.
The second important comment I received from the panel was ‘What about kids in wheelchairs or with cerebal palsy?’. I had to pause for a second before responding – she did have an excellent point. During the creation of Aim Hii I had a specific target demographic in mind – high functioning special needs students with mild to moderate coordination issues. I think in hindsight the reason behind this was for ease of operation, I justified my decision by thinking that not every product on the market is targeted towards every single person out there.
But isn’t special education pushing and progressing towards inclusion? It’s not right that should I exclude kids from a program I believe to be incredibly beneficial to development, just due to convenience. So I investigated a little further (with a little help – thanks Eimear!) and discovered this gem of a device – The Floor-Board. The Floor-Board can be combined with the Balance board and associated games to allow both able bodied players, and players in wheelchairs to participate in the exercises and digital activities using the same board. Although the price of the whole Aim Hii pack is brought up to approx. $155 with the inclusion of the Floor-Board, to allow all kids who need it to get involved, I think it’s a small price to pay….