Blogger and disability rights activist Sharina Jones has been a paraplegic since she was five years old. When she found out she was expecting a child, she and her husband were confronted with questions about how she would be able to manoeuvre with the baby. Like all parents, she wanted the freedom of being able to take the baby for walks and manage general life with the new baby.
After collaboration between University of Detroit Mercy and University of Detroit Jesuit High School and Academy, Jones received the wheelchair-friendly stroller she needed. The university works with high school students to give them college-level STEM research projects, some of which are designed to meet the needs of differently-abled individuals through engineering.
Alden Kane, a 16 year-old high school student was assigned to the project. The aim was to create a wheelchair stroller that would allow Jones and her baby to move around as she pleased in time for the baby’s arrival.
The final result of Kane’s work attaches to the front of a wheelchair and uses a regular baby car seat facing the parent. The stroller is made from stainless steel piping with connectors, which allows the stroller to be easily taken off or attached using a bicycle quick-release mechanism.
Kane hopes to patent his design and have it mass-produced to help provide freedom and accessibility for parents who use wheelchairs worldwide.