Ongoing PBS Contract

In late Summer 2020 I announced the great honor of being asked to accept a contract providing consulting and educational training services related to recreation therapy, gaming, and accessibility for the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) national network in the USA. It is now March 2021 and the honor continues. The scope of impact has expanded in surprising ways, especially regarding internal corporate culture and accessibility advocacy.

After one of many appearances on GenCon TV's TableTakes, I was contacted by people working for PBS, asking if I would be interested in helping provide more information on recreation therapy, games, accessibility, brain-computer interface and robotics technologies for accessibility, and other areas as training webinar sessions for the people responsible for creating programming content for PBS online, community programs, and broadcasting.

I was honored to be asked and gladly accepted a contract, part-time, to train PBS staff on recreation therapy concepts, use of games to achieve therapeutic goals, including role-playing games. Populations include children 2-8+ years old, gifted & talented, ADHD, learning disabilities (LD's), accessibility, Autism Spectrum (ASD / PDD) and other neurodiverse).

The scope has undergone a number of changes, in some areas narrowing, and in other areas widening, as needed.

Initially focused on ways to enhance programming for PBS Kids Online, community, and broadcast programming to add recreation therapy approaches to games, including various tabletop, live-action, and electronic games.

In February, thee of my employees (John Welker, Danielle Whitworth, and David Griffith, and I provided a live introduction to role-playing games (RPG) (tabletop, live-action, electronic, & hybrids), accessibility in gaming, brain-computer interface (BCI) technologies for accessibility & games, & BCI + robotics solutions for accessibility & games.

Last week I was asked to expand the scope to address internal corporate-wide accessibility issues with synchronous online meetings presenting challenges for people with various disabilities.

As an avid accessibility advocate, I am once again honored to be asked to help them as a consultant to help them with improving accessibility internally corporate-wide (expanding beyond the original scope of online, community, and television programming).

We will be adjusting training sessions to become asynchronous, providing extensive examples of accessibility solutions built into delivery of the training, addressing people with visual impairments & blindness, hearing impairments & deafness. & people with various cognitive differences & neurodiversity challenges. Not just in the content of training, but in delivery as well.

There is some NDA stuff I can discuss about initiatives, projects, and technologies PBS is working on, so I will stick with roughly listing only with what I have been doing openly through our training programs via RPG Research and RPG Therapeutics (I also can't discuss much of my current work at Learning Mate either).

Utilized extensive range of methodologies, technologies, & customization:
* Recreation Therapy & Therapeutic Recreation
* Cognitive neuropsychology of learning in educational and other settings
* Zoom
* Jitsi
* Matrix-Synapse
* Vector / Riot / Element
* Moodle
* Odoo
* Video recording / editing
* Closed captioning for HoH / Deaf
* Transcriptions for VI / Blind
* Brain Computer Interface (BCI) technologies
* Robotics controlled BCI
* Python
* NodeJS
* Nginx
* SQLite
* Postgres
* Firebase
* Firestore

This is exciting news. It is a lot of work to make these adjustments, but I am working feverishly to try to get all these pieces in place as quickly as possible to help move this initiative forward.

More updates will probably be available in April or May as they indicated wishing to continue evaluating this approach to meetings and educational services.