Project VRTs: Exploring technologies for virtual reality therapy of young people with cerebral palsy

Virtual Reality Therapy


Video games can make hand and arm therapy activities more fun for kids. We would like to explore the potential of these technologies for being used in video games that might motivate physical therapy in kids with cerebral palsy. We would like to see if these technologies can detect movements involved in arm and hand therapy and how we can build fun and engaging video games that make use of them.


Elaine Biddiss, MASc, PhD

Participate in this study

Do you wish hand and arm therapies could be more fun? Participate in the design and evaluation of novel technologies for playing video games for upper body therapies.

Who can participate

We are looking for participants who:

  • Have cerebral palsy or hemiplegia
  • Are between 8 and 16 years of age
  • Have some difficulty handling objects (levels (i) to (iii) on the manual abilities classification system)
  • Move independently using a mobility aid such as a cane, walker, or wheelchair (levels (i) to (iii) on the gross motor function classification scale)
  • Arms have not been treated with botulinum toxin in the last three months
  • Do not have a history of epilepsy
  • Have typical or corrected to typical vision and hearing for video game play
  • Can answer questions in English about preferences

What's Involved

  • Your child will participate in a set of design sessions at Holland Bloorview where we will have group discussions and evaluations of video games
  • In these sessions, you/your child may be asked to play a multi-player game with another participant in a dyad
  • We will conduct multiple sessions over the course of a year, lasting maximum 150 minutes each
  • In these sessions we will ask your child what he/she likes or doesn’t like about the video games we will be developing and how he/she would like to change the games
  • During a session, participants’ parents/guardians may be asked to participate in a brief interview regarding their children’s rehabilitation therapy

Interested in participating

To ask questions or to sign up, please contact: Dorothy Choi,

Funding Agency

This study is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC).

Learn more about this study