Participant

Participant Info

First Name*
Maria
Middle Initials
Last Name*
Costa
Role in the Network*
Management Committee Member
Picture*
Scientific Area
Educational
Year of PhD Award
1998
Name of organisation*
AIJU
Area of Work*
The Children, Education & Leisure Research Department of AIJU comprises psychologists, educationalists, teachers and sociologists and is capable of providing assessment on issues relating to human development, learning, play activities, consumer trends and behaviors, the search for new market opportunities etc. In addition, it provides companies with the necessary guidance for reaching the optimum level of adaptation of the game-toy to the user, by carrying out studies on the play value, duration, manipulability, suitability for age, educational quality, etc. In addition to assessment work for the industry and public bodies, AIJU undertakes continuous research and is part of the International Toy Research Association (ITRA) – including projects relating to: Product evaluation for children with disabilities; User Requirements; Universal designs; ICT in recreational-therapeutic products for several targets (children & elderly); Play as a way to promote healthy ageing; Play for all; Requirements and specific proposals for play elements consistent with the principle of access and integration; Adaptation of toys and games; Play as a tool for therapeutic intervention in the hospital context; Play in school and educational contexts.
Expertise Contributions*
Head of Children, Education & Leisure Research Department, scientific-technical coordination and management of European psycho-pedagogical projects, and doing training activities and courses in areas as Children, Desing for all, consumers, educational products, game- new technologies, etc. Providing technical and educational consultancy for children products companies at national and international level, as well as for industrial federations and associations in the toys, leisure time, and children products at national and international level. The background in the advising to private companies is focused on the toys and children’s products industries (suppliers and retailers) in subjects related to the following domains: - Social Children Trends -Toys and Games Evaluation - User requirements (Children, families, elder people) - Disabilities and child products - Play in school and educational contexts, hospitals, -Play in playgrounds (design, accessibility, quality and disability). -Child obesity and play -Child products and early intervention -Intergenerational play Also, she has designed, developed and started up diverse methodologies of sociological investigation and market research. She also promoted and initiated the cooperation between institutions, schools, universities and companies, related to the children’s products sector.