Printer Pals

“The aim of Printer Pals is to ease facilitation of interactive group activities, while simultaneously challenging perceptions of the abilities and agency of people with dementia. In its first iteration, Printer Pals was a media-centered print-based quiz in the form of a Raspberry Pi, receipt printer, and speaker enclosed in a laser cut cardboard cylinder … Group sessions with Printer Pals took the form of a quiz, following a familiar format taken from the previous history club that researchers conducted in the care home. We chose the names of the activities with staff, volunteers and residents to encourage fun social engagement. By positioning the person with dementia as an expert we aimed to highlight what participants offered in this social context. Printer Pals was kept in the public space in the care home and was brought to host quizzes and storytelling for the residents. In these sessions, Printer Pals would print tasks for the group to complete. Before sessions, volunteers would use a web interface to create and upload tasks to Printer Pals, such as songs with instructions to guess the artist, images of famous faces, riddles, and jokes. Tasks could also be a question asking the residents to share their opinions or preferences. Volunteers would then print these in the group session using the web interface, choosing which task to print next in a way that naturally followed the group discussion around the tasks.”

For more, see:

Sarah Foley, Daniel Welsh, Nadia Pantidi, Kellie Morrissey, Tom Nappey, and John McCarthy. 2019. Printer Pals: Experience-Centered Design to Support Agency for People with Dementia. In Proceedings of the 2019 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (CHI ’19). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Paper 404, 13 pages. DOI: