Sue Mistrett Project Director, Let's Play! Projects Center for Assistive Technologies
Sue Mistrett has directed the Let's Play! Projects since 1995. Supported by the U.S. Department of Education, these projects examine and promote the role of play in the lives of young children with disabilities. Sue and her colleagues have identified strategies for the use of Assistive Technologies (AT) to promote active play opportunities. AT supports have been identified and used by families to assist their child's ability to move, communicate and interact with well-designed and adapted play materials. These successes have helped parents rediscover the role of play in their children's lives, adding to their joy of “familyhood!” The most recent Let's Play! Project involves identifying toy features that reflect “Universal Design” principles (those features that make toys usable by a broader range of children).
Outcomes of Sue's work include identification of best practices to integrate technology into existing programs for maximizing the independence and participation of children with disabilities in home, education, and community settings. She has authored articles, book chapters and training curricula that focus on Assistive Technology for young children, and has been a speaker at a number of state and national conferences on topics relating to early childhood technology.
Amy Goetz Ruffino Project Coordinator, Let's Play Projects Center for Assistive Technologies Occupational Therapist Registered/Licensed
Amy Goetz Ruffino has been working with children who have disabilities for 15 years. Her training in pediatric occupational therapy has prepared her for interacting with children in a variety of settings, including homes, childcare centers, schools, and hospitals caring for children with various diagnoses. Since 1995, Amy has worked on the Let's Play! Projects centered at the State University of New York at Buffalo and supported by the U.S. Department of Education. These projects promote the use of assistive technologies (AT) to facilitate play for children and their families. More specifically, AT supports (or tools) are used to further children's communication, movement, and interaction with the world. Her most recent project includes the development of a tool to assess the “universal design” features or “usability” of toys for children with and without disabilities.
In addition to her work with the Let's Play! Projects, Amy continues to practice occupational therapy with young children. She has shared her observations with audiences across the nation on the topics of play and the development of children with disabilities, as well as the use of assistive technology with young children and family-centered service delivery. She is the author of articles, training curricula and other publications focusing on assistive technology and the play development of young children with disabilities.