June 21, 2017
Strap In: This Device Makes Swings More Easily Accessible to Persons with Disabilities
You might think swinging is easy – just sit, pump your legs, and let gravity take care of the rest, right? Well, it’s not so simple for everyone; and for some kids, the iconic standard of recess is simply inaccessible.
Just ask Kameryn Galland, Skye Roberts, and Erin Higgins, three fifth graders from Tennessee who first realized that individuals with disabling conditions may have difficulty swinging on swing-sets while playing with their special needs friends during recess. “We noticed that some of our friends were not able to participate on the swing-set because of balance issues.”
Convinced there had to be a way to allow their friends to enjoy the swings, Kameryn, Skye, and Erin decided to do something about it.
Kameryn, Skye, and Erin suited up, swung for the fences, and made inventing look…well, easy!
Introducing the E-Z Swingsuit
Kameryn, Sky, and Erin imagined a harness designed to hold a person in place on a swingset. They started with a life-vest, and emerged with an invention that brings visible joy to their friends.
Watch here as the trio describe the context and process of designing their and pitch the EZ Swingsuit in an improvised “Shark Tank!”
Henry Ford Presents Innovator(s) of the Year Award
For their innovation, their compassion, and their inventive spirit, The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation presented Kameryn, Sky, and Erin each with the Innovator of the Year Award, presented to the inventor who most espouses the spirit of curiosity, invention, and application, as exhibited by the award’s namesake — Henry Ford. The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, is an internationally recognized cultural destination that brings the past forward by immersing visitors in the stories of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation that helped shape America. To learn more about The Henry Ford and its commitment to youth innovation, or to plan your family’s next big trip, visit www.thehenryford.org.