Custom adaptive devices for students with disabilities

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Custom adaptive devices for students with disabilities. Ali Gorman reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on December 8, 2017. (WPVI)

A new project is helping to bridge the gap for students with disabilities to medical devices designed for their needs.

Dozens of students at HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy got new accessories, all designed to help increase participation in learning and life.

Russell Goldstein with the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University says the project provides custom cardboard adaptions.

"We try to include the end user in the entire design that is a huge piece of this," he said.

The kids here worked directly with occupational therapy and architecture students from Temple.

In Joshua's case, they asked him and his therapist what he needed.

They decided on a more lightweight tray and he needed something closer to his body

"Because with this other tray the cut out was further away and what would happen is his arm tends to slip in here," HMS Occupational Therapist Janice Barbour said.

Goldstein says art students also helped, allowing the kids to choose their own design.

HMS teacher Teresa Giardina says the devices help keep kids communicating, active and engaged.

And because they're cardboard, they're portable, can be made quickly and without a lot of expense.

"It's incredibly important because a lot of children we serve are inundated with difference expenses for other equipment they may be getting," added Goldstein.

The cardboard is light, but also thick and durable.

Both the Temple students and the HMS students enjoyed the collaboration.

The project was initially funded by the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation, but Goldstein says they are turning it into non-profit, so they can expand the program to help more people,

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