Engineers to the Rescue!

by Sandy Masayko

Three amazing groups of volunteers have given Easter Seals of SEPA valuable service by repairing adapted electronic toys and speech generating devices for our students. Each repair saves Easter Seals at least $60 and, more importantly, puts the toys and equipment back where it belongs: in the hands of our students. The three groups that have helped us are the Senior Engineering Students at the Science Leadership Academy, a Philadelphia public high school; Dan Frank, graduate engineering student at the University of Florida, who has organized groups to help us at least three times in the past; and Project Vive, a non-profit under the direction of Mary Elizabeth McCulloch in State College. Here are the details about each group’s contribution:

After visiting Easter Seals to see the kinds of toys that our students need, the Science Leadership Academy students repaired toys in their lab at their high school. They returned them in December and then spent more time in the classrooms seeing how adaptations can promote participation. Their next project is to design toys and switches.

sla-toys

Toy repairs completed by Science Leadership Academy

Dan Frank, a doctoral student in engineering at the University of Florida, has organized toy repair and ride-on car adaptations for Easter Seals in the past by recruiting his friends and fellow students. This December he came through for us again by spending a day of his vacation at our Bucks County Division repairing toys. Each year on the day before holiday break, Dan brings a few of his friend with him in what is becoming a yearly tradition for the AT Center at Bucks. This December, for the third year in a row, he came through for us again by spending a day of his vacation repairing toys with his sister Janelle and longtime friend from high school, Samantha.

dan-f

Volunteers Janelle Frank, Samantha Ahern and Dan Frank

Project Vive really came to the rescue! This organization, which is dedicated to designing low cost speech generating devices, took away broken items in October and returned at the end of January with 62 toys and speech generating devices. The toy delivery coincided with Project Vive’s leadership in conducting a workshop to switch-adapt commercially available electrically powered child sized ride on Jeeps for our students. Muchas Gracias to Project Vive! To learn more about Project Vive visit: http://www.projectvive.com

project-vive-toy-delivery

Easter Seals AT Department was amazed by Project Vive’s delivery of 62 toys and speech generating devices on January 30, 2017.

Here are some photos of Project Vive in action repairing toys:

cow-bug-repair

Project Vive’s soldering, rewiring and TLC got these cows to moo and a bug to squeak.

elmo-repair

Elmo required thoracic surgery at the Project Vive hospital.

product-testing

Project Vive took responsibility for testing the repairs!

Thank you to all the engineers who helped repair our toys and speech devices!

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