Tag Archives: health care

NBA Store is Sensory-Inclusive

When we think about NBA basketball games, or virtually anything that is sports-related, loud noises and bright lights immediately hit us – right between the eyes and ears. The excitement and crowds are definitely part of the atmosphere and usually helps get energy levels up. But that level of noise and light isn’t always a good thing. If someone is prone to overstimulation due to autism, PTSD, dementia or other sensory-processing disorders, overstimulation could cause a meltdown and panic or anxiety attack. It’s not just sports games; even crowded stores can bring on panic attacks. This was the concern driving the design of the newly opened NBA store in New York City.

In order to be more inclusive and assist those sensory sensitive fans, the NBA’s flagship store in New York City has become the first sensory-inclusive retail store in the world. To do this, the NBA partnered with KultureCity, a nonprofit that works to help make public spaces become more sensory-inclusive. The new NBA store offers bags containing fidget spinners, weighted lap pads, and noise-cancelling headphones to those individuals who may need them. In addition, the NBA store staff is trained to better understand, interact with, and identify visitors who may need assistance during shopping.

The NBA’s initiatives go beyond the store. There are now 14 NBA arenas equipped for the fans who need additional attention to deal with sensory needs. Four of the arenas have dedicated quiet sensory rooms to help fans. The objective of the programs is to enable the NBA to be fully inclusive and accessible to all.

Inclusion – it’s a good move on the court, and in the store.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students: Do they know someone who has sensory challenges and needs?
  2. Show a video highlighting the new store: https://youtu.be/zchmSWP1630
  3. Show a video about how one arena helps sensory challenged guests: https://youtu.be/3QRQKhGz6_4
  4. Also show the KultureCity Web site: https://www.kulturecity.org/
  5. Are there other venues or locations that could benefit from this approach?
  6. How should the NBA market this initiative?

Source:  Martin, B. (2 April, 2018). NBA store in New York becomes world’s first sensory-inclusive retail store. NBA.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

My Special Aflac Duck Helps Kids with Cancer

Aflac’s cute mascot, the talking duck, does more than just try to sell insurance. The company has been committed to caring and treating children with cancer for more than 22 years; donating $120 million over that period. In its latest effort, Aflac worked with digital design and story-telling firm Sproutel to create My Special Aflac Duck, giving a stuffed toy the robotic treatment to help the duck comfort children’s cancer patients and make a positive change in the lives of children with childhood cancer.

There are more than 11,000 cases of childhood cancer annually in the U.S., and on average, children go through 1,000 days of treatment. More than most patients, children need emotional support to go through treatments, to communicate their feelings to caregivers, and not feel helpless in the face of cancer.

My Special Aflac Duck integrates social robotics into the field of medicine. With four patents pending (and a design award from 2018 CES), My Special Aflac Duck gives kids with cancer the chance to find joy by playing with it; helps kids engage by playing soothing sounds and calming heartbeats; and helps kids connect by being able to treat Duck just like they are being treated with IV and medicine. A special backpack provided with Duck includes an IV and emoji badges that help communicate feelings.

Duck has five touch sensors that help it connect with children through its facial expressions, sounds, and movements. It also has a special app that lets kids design special places to go to virtually where they can find comfort and joy.

Quack in support of helping children with cancer!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss how companies can be socially responsible in their communities.
  2. Show The Verge’s video story about the Duck: https://youtu.be/LQy-qn_JMoM
  3. Show Aflac’s Web site for Duck: https://aflacchildhoodcancer.org/
  4. Sproutel’s Web site contains additional information on Jerry the Bear (diabetes care for children): https://www.sproutel.com/
  5. In teams, have students select an illness that affects youths. What could they develop to help these young patients cope with their illnesses?
  6. What companies could partner with them on the initiative. Why?
  7. Finally, as an option, there is a 10-minute TED Talk by the founder of Sproutel about how play can help children to deal with illness: https://www.ted.com/watch/ted-institute/ted-ibm/aaron-horowitz-can-a-teddybear-change-how-children-relate-to-their-own-disease

Source:  Hutchinson, M. (8 Jan. 2018) Robotic duck aims to help kids cope with cancer. Associated Press.

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities

Drones Can Help Save Lives

In the United States there are roughly 350,000 cardiac arrests each year, and in Europe nearly a million people each year suffer such cardiac arrests. And, each minute to health care and a defibrillator is critical to survival. Today, people outside of hospitals who have a heart attack have only an 8-10% survival rate due to the slow response time of emergency services. This calls for a new solution to this critical health issue: drones.

Drones can help save lives of heart attack victims by delivering defibrillators remotely, much faster than it takes an ambulance to arrive on the scene. In a recent study in Sweden, the Swedish Transportation Agency equipped drones with light-weight defibrillators (1.7 pounds) and deployed them from fire stations north of Stockholm.

In tests, drones can average 100 km/hour, making the average arrival time of the drones 5:21 minutes; this is compared to the average ambulance arrival time of 22:00 minutes, shaving more than 16 minutes off defibrillator arrival time. Time that is critical to a person’s survival. When not flying, the drone can be folded and become a tool box for emergency supplies.

Drones to the rescue!

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss the use of new technologies such as drones with students.
  2. Show video: https://youtu.be/y-rEI4bezWc
  3. Divide students into team: What other applications could drones have in the marketplace and health care industry?
  4. Have each team share its recommendations.
  5. Select the top recommendation. Have students develop a marketing program for this solution using drones.

Source:  Los Angeles Times, Tribune, other news source

Leave a comment

Filed under Classroom Activities