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Powered Swing-Away Mount for Communication Device

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Chris is a 30-year-old male with cerebral palsy. He gives regular motivational speeches at a variety of locations (mainly in Michigan and Chicago land area). He received a new AAC device, Dynavox 3100, and requires it to be mounted to his power wheelchair. He accesses the unit using his big toes thus requiring it to be mounted at the height of his foot plate. A motorized solution needed to be used to slowly lower the device from a vertical position to a horizontal one.


The original custom mount for his old communication device was used with a new mounting plate for the Dynavox. Brackets on the mount were welded to fix cracks before attaching to the wheelchair. An Invacare leg rest was used as the actuator for raising and lowering the Dynavox 3100. A momentary switch was mounted on his foot plate accessed with his big toe for controlling the raising and lowering.

Cost Analysis

•Welding at local shop, $75

•5" Actuator, about $600

•Toggle Switch & Fuse, $10

•Evaluation & Design Time, 4 hours

•Fabrication & Installation, 8 hours

Repeatability of Solution

The original custom mount was deemed safe enough to reuse with the new welding. This part could be fabricated again; however, the cost of the project would increase.


Matthew Scholtens

Rehabilitation Engineer

Assistive Technology Specialist

Rehab Technology Center

Mary Free Bed Hospital & Rehabilitation Center

360 Lafayette Street SE, Suite 330

Grand Rapids, MI 49503-4679

Phone: 616.356.1892

Fax: 616.356.1868