Led by WCU physical therapy professor Cameron Brown, a group of physical therapy and occupational therapy students worked alongside engineering students from Los Angeles City College to assemble and customize electric and battery-powered cars for children with limited mobility.
“Some of the kids were a little hesitant, but as soon as they figured out that button let them go, then it was like, ‘Whoa! Let’s go!” Brown said. “We also saw siblings that were thrilled to be interacting with their other siblings and how they can play together.”
Funded by a philanthropic donation from the WCU-CGS DPT department, the physical and occupational therapy students also collaborated with a local clinical partner, Total Education Solution, to nominate children under age 5 who are unable to walk independently to receive the life-changing gifts.
“The project emphasizes customization for each child’s specific needs,” Brown said. “The team explored options like removable buttons for children with limited reach or finding solutions to improve head control.”
Delivery day for the cars was a celebration, Brown said, not only for the children but also for their families. The team brought the customized cars to the Total Education Solution clinic, to ensure everything fit well and instruct both children and parents on their operation.
“The impact of this initiative extends beyond mobility. It fosters social opportunities for these children, enabling them to play outdoors and interact with their peers more easily,” Brown said. “It’s what we, as therapists, want to see – children progressing, having fun, and families realizing the impact of this unity.”
WCU provides career guidance and assistance but cannot guarantee employment. The views and opinions expressed are those of the individuals and do not necessarily reflect the beliefs or position of the school or of any instructor or student.