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NAERINGSPH-Nærings-phd

My Avatar – Mobility in education for children and adolescents with neuromuscular diseases in Scandinavia through use of telepresence robots

Alternative title: Telepresence robots for children and adolescents with neuromuscular diseases in Scandinavia when absence from school

Awarded: NOK 1.9 mill.

Project Number:

335907

Application Type:

Project Period:

2022 - 2026

Funding received from:

Location:

Subject Fields:

Partner countries:

??The term neuromuscular diseases (NMD) covers a range of different diagnoses characterized by a progressive decline in functionality and activity. The reduced level of functionality has a negative impact on participation in everyday activities like school and leisure. Children with NMD consider themselves academically weaker than the national average in Denmark and have two to four days of absence per month. Telepresence robots are computer, tablet, or smartphone-controlled robots equipped with a microphone, monitor, camera, and speaker. Placed in the classroom, they allow the child to attend school virtually, without being physically present. The aim of this PhD-project “My Avatar” will examine whether the use of the telepresence robot, AV1, by children, adolescents, and teachers in Scandinavia (Denmark, Norway, and Sweden) can support children and adolescents with NMD’s adherence to and participation in education by potentially offering flexibility during periods where symptoms of their chronic disease prevent them from being physically present in the classroom. The project comprises two studies: Study 1 is a policy analysis of the existing legislation on the accessibility of education for students suffering from illness in Scandinavia, and study 2 is a qualitative explorative evaluation study of the use of telepresence robots for education of children and adolescents with NMD and their schoolteachers in Scandinavia. In a future perspective, the policy analysis together with the telepresence robots may help ensure that more children and adolescents with NMD in Scandinavia and other countries can get better opportunities to complete education. The project will offer knowledge on the use of telepresence robots for education of children and adolescents whose chronic diseases or other challenges prevent them from being physically present in school.

My Avatar explores whether the use of telepresence robots by children, adolescents and teachers in Scandinavia can support the children and adolescents’ adherence to and participation in education by offering flexibility during periods where symptoms of their chronic disease prevent them from being physically present in the classroom. Globally, people with disabilities do not have the same educational mobility as the healthy. A weak affiliation with educational institutions and/or the labour market can have social as well as economic consequences for the individual and for society. Consequences in terms of standards of living are isolation, poor health, reduced quality of life, and poor financial status. The project purpose is to create equal mobility in education and health for children and adolescents with neuromuscular diseases using telepresence robots. In this project we use the telepresence robot AV1 who is designed to connect the child/adolescent to the classroom and follow the teaching from home or hospital through a tablet. Telepresence robots create a chance for them to participate in social and academic class activities during the illness and treatment period. Furthermore, telepresence robots offer potential flexibility in terms of breaking down a school day according to fatigue, pain and energy level which might give children and adolescents with NMD better opportunities to participate. The project is divided into two studies: Study 1) is a policy analysis of the existing legislation on education during illness cross the Scandinavian countries, and study 2) is a qualitative explorative evaluation study of the use of telepresence robots in education of children and adolescents with NMD and their school teachers in Scandinavia. In a future perspective, the project desire to help ensure that more children and adolescents with NMD in the Scandinavia and other countries can get better mobility to complete primary through upper secondary education.

Funding scheme:

NAERINGSPH-Nærings-phd

Thematic Areas and Topics

No thematic area or topic related to the project