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A Fighting Bid

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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2014 Design.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill 2014 Design.

Molly is a five year old kindergarten student who was in an accident that left her with spinal cord injuries that resulted in paraplegia. Molly has damage to either the T4-T5 or T5-T6 regions of her spinal cord. Damage to these regions results in the loss of control of one’s legs and affects the control of the trunk to varying levels [1]. Because of this injury, Molly spends most of her day in a wheelchair. Being in a wheelchair diminishes her ability to fully interact and engage with her peers. During “carpet time” throughout the day children are learn and play together on the floor. At present Molly can get out of her wheelchair independently through a method that combines sliding and lowering herself to her footplate and then to the floor. When it is time to return to her wheelchair, she is lifted back into it by her aide. This current method is not always practical or safe and seriously limits Molly’s much desired independence.

Currently there are few devices available on the market to assist children in transferring between their wheelchairs and the floor. One such commercially available device is the Bottoms Up Bar [2]. It is essentially a seat with hand grips that is placed in front of a wheelchair. Users slide themselves to the seat and then to the floor. The problem with this system is that it is not dimensioned to accommodate a child’s size and strength. We are not aware of any device designed to facilitate a child’s transferring independently between the wheelchair and the floor.

Further Information

More information can be found by following the link here.