2016 MSFHR / Wall Solutions Initiative Supplemental Knowledge Broker Funding Award

7 November 2016

MSFHR is pleased to announce the successful applicant for funding to our 2016 Supplemental Knowledge Broker (KB) Funding Competition.

The competition was held in partnership with the Wall Solutions Initiative (WSI) — a program that funds University of British Columbia researchers to partner with end-users or community partners to develop innovative, practical research solutions to societal problems. As part of its knowledge translation (KT) work and in order to further the science of KT, MSFHR will provide supplemental funding to health-related WSI funded projects whose teams are interested in linking KT practice and KT science by hiring a knowledge translation broker to evaluate the implementation of their "solutions".

It is expected that the KB broker will be embedded within successfully funded teams to develop, implement and evaluate the KT strategies and activities used in the WSI-funded project.

Two health-related applications were received. One application has been approved for funding.

We would like to thank our review panel for their contribution and congratulate the 2016 MSFHR / WSI Supplemental KB Funding award recipient on their successful application.

2016 MSFHR / WSI Supplemental KB Funding Award Recipient:

  • Principle Investigator
    Dr. Tal Jarus, Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of British Columbia
  • Community Partner or End-user Organization
    Mr. Sean Sibbet, President & CEO, Reality Controls Inc.
    Dr. Nancy Lanphear, Division Head, Developmental Pediatrics, Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children

What’s Up? Fostering Communications Skills for Children with Autism Using a Virtual Reality Game

Children with autism have difficulties with communication and socio-emotional skills, and current behavioral interventions addressing this problem are costly. Complex problems require creative solutions — an innovative and promising virtual-reality platform that can be used to complement health services. Existing technologies such as computer-based programs are usually touch based, and raise a long debate on the generalization of learned skills. Touch-less systems enable interacting via natural ways in a simulated environment and may help develop transferable skills. This project will develop a low-cost, novel touch-less virtual-reality technology (using the Kinect), via simulation of the real world, to improve socio-emotional skills among children with autism. To maximize the quality of the product, partnership between the clinical community, a virtual-reality gaming company, and the academic researchers at the University of British Columbia is crucial. Stakeholders’ input will be incorporated, and the developed product will be used at home and monitored by clinicians remotely.