Man Modifies Toy Vehicles for Disabled Children
Lifestyle| | By Lauren Boudreau
When Cole Galloway noticed an “exploration gap” between kids developing normally and those that were mobility challenged, he knew he had to do something about it.
Galloway, physical therapy professor and infant behavior expert at the University of Delaware, teamed up with Sunil Agrawal, professor of mechanical engineering, to create vehicles for disabled children. Together, they founded Go Baby Go, a project to increase exploration for kids with special needs.
In a video released by NationSwell, Galloway states, “Friends are hard to make when you’re not mobile,” adding, “I want you to feel like you have control over your own happiness, and I know for young children, that’s attached to your mobility.”
When Galloway and Agrawal first started to build vehicles, however, they turned out to be way too heavy and costs were soaring into the tens of thousands of dollars, according to NationSwell. That’s when Galloway decided to go into a Toys R’ Us and use low tech Barbie jeeps and race cars instead.
Different cars are customized to fit different needs. For example, Galloway designed a car for a girl named Sarah who “doesn’t have a reason to keep her head up, but when she drives her ride-on car she has a reason, that’s because the accelerator is behind her head,” he says in the video.
For a boy named Xander, Galloway made it so that the boy would have to stand to power the car, allowing him to build muscle and strength in his legs while riding.
Now, the ride-on vehicles are empowering these young children and showing them they aren’t any different than the other kids their age.
“When [Xander] uses the standup car, not only can he keep up with his friends, but sometimes the friends have to keep up with him,” says one woman in the video. “And so it kind of puts him more in a place of, like, being the leader, as opposed to just being the follower.”
Check out the inspirational video below!