by Clémence Daniere, student writer
Grand Valley’s Power Mobility Project received a $150,000 grant to test devices that temporarily convert manual wheelchairs into power wheelchairs for children who have cerebral palsy.
The National Institute of Health and Human Development grant will help provide power mobility training to children and young people, ages 6 months to 26 years old, who aren’t typically considered candidates for that type of training.
Lisa Kenyon, professor of physical therapy, said it gives wheelchair users more independence.
“I found throughout my career as a pediatric physical therapist that children who have severe disabilities are not given the opportunities to try power wheelchairs and, therefore, are denied access to their only way to move independently,” Kenyon said.
Kenyon works on the project with John Farris, professor of engineering, and Naomi Aldrich, associate professor of psychology.