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Starlight’s pediatric tablet program proves impactful

VanessaMONTREAL – Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada (Starlight) has demonstrated that its turnkey pediatric tablet program has a positive impact on disabled children. The program, launched as a pilot study at the Quebec Society for Disabled Children (QSDC) in April 2014, has shown to be effective or highly effective in promoting learning (91% of survey respondents), social interaction among disabled peers (73%) and between disabled and non-disabled children (73%).

It has also succeeded in maintaining engagement (82%), and satisfying children and their educators.

The program was rolled out in the daycare of QSDC (community setting) with mixed classes of disabled and non-disabled children ranging in age from 18 months to five years. It was teacher-directed and educational in nature, with one tablet provided for every two children during class time.

Eleven educators were surveyed on a variety of parameters relating to the promotion of education and social interaction observed in the children three months following implementation of the tablet program.

Through its regular programming for hospital- and community-based pediatric organizations, Starlight Children’s Foundation provided 24 tablets and over 10 different software applications that were custom-selected based on the needs of the children and their educators.

“Among other important elements of the program, we assess needs, carefully select software applications, train teams and provide technical support. Our innovative remote monitoring service is led by one of our very own (all grown up) Starlight kids. By providing a comprehensive solution, we facilitate uptake by healthcare providers and engage Starlight children and families,” says Brian Bringolf, Executive Director of Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada.

“Although the initiative was exciting from the moment of its announcement, the team was impressed with the results within a single month of implementation. We find that the tablets are changing the lives of disabled children. They are much more motivated to learn because they are having fun. We expect to see significant progress in their development skills,” says Chantale Théroux, Director of Papillon Day Care.

“Breaking down the walls of isolation is what it’s all about,” says Starlight’s VP of Children Services Canada, Ghyslain Gagné. “Bringing a tablet to a child living in isolated circumstances opens the doors to the outer world. It’s not just about the games, music, videos and movies. It’s also about seeing your brother or your grandparents who can’t make it to the hospital to visit.”

Two Montreal-area pediatric teaching hospitals have visited QSDC and endorsed the program.

The Collaboration Vector Inc., a Canadian-based consultancy firm, worked with Starlight and QSDC to facilitate the collaboration project and conduct formal evaluation. “It has been exciting to witness the innovation brought to the management of disability in children as well as the value of a true collaboration between two dynamic non-profit organizations,” says Sabrina El-Chibini, President of TCV. The cooperation with Starlight Children’s Foundation is one more thing that has proven most successful and positive,” says Ronald Davidson, Executive Director, QSDC.

“We are proud of the collaborative effort at the pilot project level and we look forward to bringing the tablet program to children’s hospitals and community organizations from coast to coast,” adds Mr. Bringolf. A national program would have the capacity to impact millions of productive interactions between Starlight children, family members and healthcare providers.

Starlight is seeking partnerships for national implementation of its pediatric tablet program. For more information, please contact Mr. Brian Bringolf, Executive Director, Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada at (514) 288-9474, ext. 225; brian@starlightcanada.ca.

About Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada
Starlight Children’s Foundation Canada is part of Starlight’s global network, serving kids and families through partnerships with more than 130 healthcare facilities. Over 30 years, Starlight has become a leading global charity that partners with experts to improve the life and health of kids and families around the world. Collaborating with innovators in pediatric healthcare, entertainment and technology, Starlight provides a unique blend of family-centered programs and services from hospital to home. Starlight partners with more than 1,750 healthcare facilities and pediatric hospitals worldwide, serving millions of children yearly.

About Quebec Society for Disabled Children
The Quebec Society for Disabled Children accompanies youngsters living with a disability to help make their dreams come true. It assists parents in their efforts to provide the care, attention, and support their child needs. To accomplish this mission, the Society favours direct action in the community and offers support services to the families in all spheres of daily life.

Ms. Chantale Théroux, Director of Papillon Day Care, QSDC
514 937.6171 ext. 209; ctheroux@enfantshandicapes.com

About The Collaboration Vector Inc.
The Collaboration Vector Inc. is a consultancy firm that works with private, non-profit and public clients on innovative collaborations that maximize business growth and societal impact. The company unites a diverse team of business professionals and researchers in health and wellness, economic growth, education, poverty reduction, leadership, and entrepreneurship.

Sabrina El-Chibini, President, TCV
514-730-8433; sabrina@thecollaborationvector.com.

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