Research output: Unpublished conference presentation (presented paper, abstract, poster)Conference presentation (not published in journal/proceeding/book)Academic researchpeer-review



One of the first challenges for many children with physical disabilities is to sit independently. A floor seating positioning system enables this milestone, helping the child to maintain eye level with other children, play and learn on the floor, rectify the posture and, as a consequence, helps including the child within its social spectrum. Ciranda is the first comprehensive floor seat solution to attend those needs in Brazil. The design aims to be safe, playful, affordable, and avoid negative connotations commonly seen on floor seat solutions, such as 'tightening' the child with straps or having an appearance of medical equipment. Ciranda design, inspired on cartoons, has an innovative adjustable looping system that hugs the child trunk to the backrest and a set of saddles on the seat that can adjust to different child sizes and shapes. The institute Noisinho da Silva, a non-government organisation, designed and produced the Ciranda seat for Brazil market and also developed the Oficina da Ciranda, a social enterprise service endorsed by UNICEF to accommodate the needs of parents in a vulnerable socio-economical situation by teaching them how to build their seat. These multi-awarded solutions had benefit more than a thousand children. Now, the institute is studying the applicability of the commercial solution within other markets and the social enterprise within other contexts. This research will focus on structuring the Ciranda project as a model that can be replicated in different regions.

Method used
Ciranda and Oficina da Ciranda were developed as a result of a co-design between different stakeholders based on the principle of human-centred design. Anthropometric data were collected from 370 children who cannot sit without support, often children with cerebral palsy, myelomeningocele and multiple disabilities. The families of these children were visited, observed and interviewed. A project requirement was developed using the insights from the data, and a multidisciplinary team of collaborators were formed to co-design the solutions. For the social enterprise service, a model of collaboration was tested in a first workshop in 2007 and improved through the years. This research aims to study and adapt this model aiming to replicate the social enterprise in China and Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

Key results
Oficina da Ciranda had already benefited more than 6000 people directly. This means that more than 1000 children with disabilities had their floor seating positioning system made by their community and family members, creating a network of people with similar values and struggles to support each other. The Ciranda commercial version was purchased by hundreds of families, contributing to promoting more Oficina da Ciranda workshops with part of the sales profit.

Ciranda project connects different stakeholders to form a community that supports each other and to build a solution for one of the many challenges a family with children with physical disabilities has. The model also unravels other challenges common to most assistive technologies, such as access to a device and training for the use and maintenance of the device.

Tweetable abstract
Ciranda is a commercial floor seat positioning system and Oficina da Ciranda a social enterprise service where the community gathers to build the seat for their child. This research aims to study and adapt the Ciranda and Oficina da Ciranda model to replicate in different contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2019
EventThe 15th International Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe : Global Challenges in Assistive Technology: Research, Policy & Practice - Bologna, Italy
Duration: 27 Aug 201930 Aug 2019
Conference number: 15


ConferenceThe 15th International Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Assistive Technology in Europe
Internet address


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