Creating a Better World for All
For over 30 years, The Center for Discovery’s Assistive Technology Department has been working hand in hand with clinical, educational, and residential teams to provide low and high-tech interventions that aid in development, improve health, increase function, and improve quality of life for people with disabilities and complex conditions. These interventions range from the identification of appropriate commercially available equipment to the custom design and fabrication of new equipment.
Some notable examples of this include the FlexTable, a highly adaptable commercially available mealtime table which enables individuals of different heights and varying needs to experience mealtime together, and indieGo – The Right to Move, an easy to use power mobility device that converts almost any manual wheelchair into a powered chair without the use of tools.
A Culture of Innovation
Through the collaborative design and development of thousands of assistive technology interventions, the department has refined its approach and streamlined its processes to ensure its work is as impactful, scalable and sustainable as possible.
Through these efforts, we have learned that in order to yield real impact from a culture of innovation, you need to create an infrastructure to catalyze and support it. This understanding led to the creation of The Center for Discovery’s innovation pipeline, a framework for nurturing and supporting innovative ideas. The pipeline is rooted in the facilitation of creative problem solving, ensuring anyone with an idea has access to the tools they need to thoroughly understand it, articulate it, explore it and create an action plan to bring it to life.
After ideas graduate from creative problem solving, a project team is created to help design and prototype the idea for real-world user testing. Following a series of iterations informed by testing, projects are then evaluated for impact and potential and placed on a track which best meets the projects goals.
The Technology Hub and Incubator (THINC) at The Center for Discovery is at the core of our assistive technology and innovation efforts. The facility allows The Center’s clinicians, educators, and other staff to collaborate with engineers, inventors, designers, entrepreneurs, artists, and business leaders alike, creating an incubator for new ideas and the development of products based on the principals of universal design.
We believe that it is through these efforts that we together, will change tomorrow.