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A successful partnership known as Special Designs Independence has been gaining recognition in the Chicago area for its small but innovative solutions for local disabled residents.
Judy Gardner, a manager with the DuPage County Easter Seals organization, was looking for new ways to help children and adults with cerebral palsy and other similar disabilities to gain greater independence. Several years ago, she decided to coordinate a partnership with the University of Illinois, Chicago.
Engineering students at UIC are paired with disabled residents of DuPage County and are given the task of finding low-cost solutions to help them. With budgets ranging from $50 to $3000, the solutions are not always high-tech.
In recent years, the UIC students have created various devices including a floating apparatus for swimmers who need an oxygen tank, a shower chair, and a hands-free page-turner.
According to Gardner, the page-turner – which was made for a young girl with cerebral palsy who loved to read – was especially significant because it cost less than $300 to make. Similar devices currently on the market sell for a minimum of $2,000.
In April, Gardner was honored with the Lowenkron Program Innovation Award form the Easter Seals national board of directors for her efforts toward coordinating the program.
If your child was born with cerebral palsy as a result of medical malpractice, please contact a cerebral palsy attorney today to learn more about your legal rights.