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Media opportunity: Dalhousie students recognized for developing innovative, cost‑effective device that shelters people in wheelchairs from wet weather
Four Dalhousie students who worked remotely together throughout the pandemic have won a national award for a device that can shelter people in wheelchairs from wet weather as they get out of their car.
Sammy Pham, Kaitlyn Busson, Kerilyn Kennedy and Jesimiel Ugbebor developed the Swing Door Shelter as part of the Universities Canada Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) competition earlier this year, winning third place in the Architectural/Industrial Design Barriers category for their design.
Their device consists of a sheet of polyurethane laminate that rolls out between the roof of the vehicle and the door, providing shelter as someone transfers to or from their wheelchair into a seat in the vehicle. When the door closes, the cover retracts.
Kennedy, a Dalhousie Engineering student, helped design the apparatus with her teammates through the DalBox Access Program and entered it in the IDeA competition, which challenges Canadian university students to develop practical solutions to accessibility barriers.
Kennedy is available to discuss the device’s evolution, its future and how her team’s discussions with more than a dozen people with disabilities helped narrow their research focus to help those with spinal cord injuries.
Senior Research Reporter
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