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Kids Continue to Receive Adaptive Cars during COVID-19

Prior to COVID-19, Adapt-a-Cars were delivered during interactive workshops.

Founded in 2015, Inclusioneers uses innovative approaches to engineer accessibility solutions for people with disabilities. In doing so, mentors, students, local makers, and health care professionals have learned about ways they can use their talents to incorporate accessibility into their everyday work. Past projects have included prosthetic leg attachments, tandem wheelchairs, an adaptive bike, and Adapt-a-Cars, which are motorized cars that have proven to be a hit.  

The expanded Adapt-a-Car Project provides accessible, personalized cars to children ages 1 to 6 who have disabilities. A team of engineering students, business mentor engineers, and clinicians work together to propose a car for each child, which is then evaluated by medial and social caregiver professionals. This interdisciplinary team of volunteers in Northeast Ohio promotes a child's enhanced mobility, which contributes to mental, social, and emotional development, and allows each child to explore their environment with increased autonomy.   

The Adapt-A-Car is both a toy and a developmental tool. While this year’s set of Adapt-A-Cars were set to be debuted in March, statewide stay-at-home orders because of coronavirus (COVID-19) resulted in the event’s cancellation. However, the Inclusioneers haven’t missed a beat, and have safely coordinated the delivery of each car.  

As a result of this flexibility and quick-thinking, Emersyn received her car, the “Wild Thing,” which features a one-of-a-kind back support designed. The car was manufactured in collaboration with Fisher-Price and includes a “star wand” joystick designed by the University of Akron’s NASA Robotics Team and decorations featuring all of Emersyn’s favorite princess characters. 

All in all, 10 unique teams ranging from high school students to biomedical engineers worked to make Emersyn’s car a reality. Emersyn isn’t alone in having received a special delivery during these challenging times: BayleeGabe and AJ, and Xander are all now the proud drivers of their own Adapt-A-Cars. The collaborative work of the Inclusioneers has empowered people with disabilities to engage with their community through their favorite activities. 

To learn more about what the Inclusioneers are inventing and how you can support them, visit their website.