Evan Neff, Jack Boynton, Samuel Brost, Emily Watkins, Emily Dunnion, Meaghan Hannigan, Sonja Lake, Johann Sapim, Lindsay Stern, Joshua Pritchard, Kevin Nguyen, Adam Thompson, Delaney McGill, Julia Duckman, Leanne Earle, Momin Sajjad, Austen Lynds-Martin
This year, the Roll With It (RWI) team decided to design a device that bypassed 3 major sources of inaccessibility for assistive technologies (AT). The first source of inaccessibility is cost. Most complex AT are priced extremely high, often causing the user to require financial assistance to access them. The second source of inaccessibility is distribution. For the devices that need to be prescribed by clinicians, individuals living in remote areas of the world or in places that lack the infrastructure to sustain medical clinics are not able to access the AT they need. Additionally, once a device is prescribed it can take a long time for the device to get into the hands of the user. The third source of inaccessibility is the lack of independence individuals have when choosing the AT they use. Individuals have a wide range of different needs which commonly lead to the AT they use not providing them the optimal assistance. The RWI device is a low cost, walker-style device made from mostly PVC piping and other materials commonly found in a hardware store. When this is coupled with a simple e-commerce website, it can be easily distributed anywhere in the world. We believe that the RWI concept can serve as an example for designers to prove that it is possible to provide AT to more people around the world and give individuals more independence in the types of AT that they use in their daily lives.