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  • The task for my group was to help a man with quadriplegic cerebral palsy become more able to open up his joints, muscles, tendons, and ligaments in his arms. 

    Anyone with cerebral palsy at whatever severity is faced with some challenge. Cerebral palsy is an abnormal brain development that does not get better or worse over time. Lee, our client, companion, and collaborator has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy, which means all four limbs are paralyzed. Due to his contracted muscles, this makes certain tasks and accessibility to doing hobbies hard for him to do on his own, whether it be playing Magic the Gathering or playing video games.

    Our project is a textile to help with physical therapy and open up Lee's arms. Because physical therapy was very time consuming in the past and caused his shoulder pain from over stretching it, physical therapy was not entirely a priority. Creating this textile will allow Lee to become more mobile in his arms so that he can use them to move more. This shirt can be worn underneath clothes or outside as a shirt. We created this by planning and sketching out multiple prototypes. There are thin wood laser cut pieces with slots for the white elastic bands, and a few notches to make it adjustable. Having the flexibility and options for how open Lee would like his arms because it will be more comfortable to him. Creating more textiles and other shells that can help people with cerebral palsy will be very useful. The clothing will provide physical therapy as one is stationary, and/or can help with movements. It will especially help with anyone who has limited arm movement from cerebral palsy. In the future, hopefully more advanced textiles will be produced to help give more mobility to people with cerebral palsy. 

  • A small attachment for your door that fully automates it for wheelchair accessibility. It uses a string to unlatch the handle and rolls the door open with a wheel.

     

    For people with disabilities, it can be difficult if not impossible to leave the house on your own for many reasons. In the case of our client, Lee has quadriplegic cerebral palsy and therefore, can't open a door on his own. I decided to solve this by automating his door.  While there are obviously forms of automation for doors that have existed for a long time, there aren't really any home alternatives. Most of the automatic doors you see are bulky metal bars at the top of a door, impersonal, tacky, non-domestic, and overpriced. I decided to create a small, affordable, and easy to install automation for Lee's home. The design is a small box you slide under your door with a wheel on the floor, and a string sticking out the top attached to the door handle. When installing, all you have to do is slide the box under, tie the string around your door handle, and once you plug it in your done!

  • Playing video games is a huge source of entertainment, but most game controller lack accessibility for people who have physical disabilities which damage dexterity and fine motor skills. The accessible game controller takes advantage of larger movements done by the arms which activate the buttons depending on directing and how far the arms go.

    We worked with Lee Cusack who has Spastic Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, which greatly limits the movement in his body. Lee can't move his fingers or grip a controller. Our solution was to use rotation to activate the buttons. Lee uses his arms to turn a lever, it senses what direction the lever is in and motors press the buttons on the controller. Most controllers are meant to be held comfortably centered in front of you, but it isn't comfortable or convenient for Lee, so the levers are set up on the sides of his wheelchair where his arms can be in the most convenient position. We realized how inconvenient and inaccessible things that we use on a daily basis are, we had some trouble understanding just how difficult some movements could be. Our addon will greatly help in making the controller more practical and comfortable for Lee and others like him. 

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