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Accessibility Minute - Assistive Technology Tips and Tricks for Everyone

Jun 19, 2015

136-06-19-15 The Open Wheelchair Foundation

Hey there!  Welcome to Accessibility Minute, your weekly look at Assistive Technology, those clever tools and devices designed to help people who have difficulties with vision, mobility, hearing or other special needs!

For individuals born with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, a form muscular dystrophy, tasks such as walking, crawling, lifting their arms and more can be challenging-- if not impossible. Due to these physical limitations, many of these individuals need a motorized wheelchair as early as possible. Though many electric wheelchairs for younger children already exist, they can cost up to $15,000, and may not last long due to the child’s growing body.

Five undergrad students at Brigham Young University have built the world's smallest motorized wheelchair.  The students have perfected a 20-pound power wheelchair made with PVC pipe, that can support a child up to 50 pounds!  The price tag, which includes batteries, wheels, motors, joystick controller and a padded seat came to just $495!  

The students have posted the plans for their wheelchair, so that any family with a child in need should be able to afford and build a chair of their own.

For more information, to read our blog or to drop us a line, visit  That was your accessibility minute for this week! I¹m Laura Medcalf with the INDATA Project at Easter Seals Crossroads, in Indiana.