Variety is partnering with CanAssist at the University of Victoria by covering the cost of developing customized technologies for children who have special mobility issues. Ethan is one of the first children to benefit from this unique partnership.
Six year old Ethan is inquisitive and full of life but his physical limitations were making it difficult for him to participate at school. He has a condition known as Arthrogryposis and has severely restricted movement in his joints. He can move his arm by biting down on an attached armband and hoisting his limb into position but he cannot raise his hand to participate in class. Looking for a way for Ethan to gain independence, Anne, his learning support teacher, contacted CanAssist.
Based on assessment of Ethanís needs, an electrical engineering specialist adapted a light fixture typically used on boats. The light was attached to the back of Ethanís wheelchair so it could be activated by any external switch. By pushing the switch on his wheelchair tray, Ethan can turn on the light when he wants to get the teacherís attention in class, a friendís attention in the hall or even communicate outside on the playground. In fact, members of his educational team believe the device will help him in classrooms for many years to come.
ďI want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving your time, energy and brain power to Ethan,Ē said Anne.
Clearly this story is just one of many to come in Variety's commitment to enriching the lives of children who have special needs!
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