Sylvie and Meg combined their expertise in e-learning design and fitness to create Foov’s first story-based, life script workout for the intellectually disabled

The special needs community has been taken with the iPad for learning and intellectual development. Meg Finnegan and Sylvie Légère have found another equally promising opportunity to address a major and pressing need by using the iPad’s unique features and functionality to encourage physical fitness, and get people with intellectual disabilities moving.

Traditional and mainstream training plans don’t readily motivate individuals with special needs. Understanding that a lack of exercise has serious implications to the physical health and wellness of this already vulnerable community, Sylvie and Meg combined their expertise in e-learning design and fitness to create Foov’s first story-based workout for the intellectually disabled. When interacting with “FOOV at the Ballpark” participants don’t just passively watch the iPad, tap and swipe at it, they become an integral part of the story, in this case a trip to Wrigley Field, and move with the device through a complete workout program.

The results so far have been very encouraging, with participants engaging with the app repeatedly and regularly. This sustained app-enabled physical activity is a conversation changer in the field of special needs care. iPad technology armed with an innovative application and the right kind of storytelling allow a community previously left out to participate fully in the exciting evolution of gaming technology while improving their level of fitness.

There are plans for future life script apps - more apps that integrate movement, learning and life experience - to provide exposure to valuable life lessons like grocery shopping or going to a job. But, Sylive and Meg's vision extends beyond Foov's apps. They plan to build an enterprise that will hire people with intellectual disabilities to test and design more life script apps. They hope to design app-based job coaches for people with intellectual disabilities.

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