26.07.2018 change 26.07.2018

Innovative educational board on healthy lifestyle for the blind

Fig. press materials Fig. press materials

An innovative educational board presenting information about a healthy lifestyle in a way accessible for the blind and visually impaired has been developed by a team of specialists from the Medical University of Lodz.

The "Healthy Lifestyle Pyramid" was developed in a relief form. This enables a visually impaired person to move within certain thematic areas - told PAP the solution co-author, Dr. Magdalena Wrzesińska from the Department of Psychosocial Rehabilitation of the Medical University of Lodz.

Additional QR-codes allow to listen to audio descriptions of the information presented on the board using a phone app.

According to the expert, a high level of health awareness favours motivation in making choices related to health behaviours. This has a direct impact on the quality of functioning in various areas of life. Various solutions are used in the process of health education, and traditional text and graphics in information brochures and posters are most often used to strengthen the processes of memorizing information.

But not all educational materials currently available, including health promotion materials, are adapted to the needs of people with disabilities. To change this, the team of employees of the Medical University of Lodz in cooperation with the Typhlography and Computer Graphics Studio "TYFLOGRAF" have developed the educational tool "Healthy Lifestyle Pyramid".

"It is an innovative educational board that presents information about a healthy lifestyle in a way that is readable for the blind and visually impaired. The text and graphics are presented on an A2 format board. The depicted pyramid has been divided into specific thematic areas associated with healthy eating, physical activity and weight control" - described Dr. Wrzesińska.

"Strengthening the process of transferring and memorizing information by recipients is possible thanks to descriptions in black and Braille print as well as specifically designed drawings" - she added.

To create the "Pyramid", specialists in the field of public health, nutritionists and typhlopedagogists used the design thinking methodology. This allowed them to go through different phases of creating this innovative solution.

The board has passed the testing phase with people with disabilities of all ages. The advantage of the board - according to its creators - is its simplicity and intuitive use, which should ensure effective education in various groups of recipients. A pilot evaluation study using the board, carried out among blind and visually impaired students, confirmed its effectiveness.

"A higher increase in knowledge in the field of healthy eating was demonstrated in the study group, in which the board was used, in comparison with the group where a traditional information leaflet was used" - said Dr. Wrzesińska.

The board is certified by the European Patent Office. It has won several prizes, including a silver medal at the international trade show Intarg Poland in Katowice.

The solution will be developed. "We have ideas for new solutions in the field of health education, which we want to test also in different age groups without disabilities" - concluded the co-author of the "Pyramid".

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