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High Schoolers Use Physics Lessons To Tackle Accessibility Issues

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Students in an innovative high school physics class are using their knowledge to offer individuals with disabilities access to everything from gardening tools to video games.

Through a partnership with United Cerebral Palsy, high school juniors and seniors taking an applied physics and design course at two Philadelphia-area schools work to identify and solve everyday problems that people with disabilities encounter. In past years, students tackled shredders, sports equipment and gardening tools. This year, they worked to make Nintendo’s Wii game system accessible for individuals with limited use of their arms and those with poor motor control.

For one man with cerebral palsy, the students designed a controller with a large steering wheel to play a cow racing game. The device is positioned high enough to access from his wheelchair and has two sides with the word “driver” written on them to focus the man’s attention when he plays.

The man, who is nonverbal and often spends time rocking back and forth, lit up playing the Wii. Likewise, the students who ultimately created three devices for different UCP clients to use say it’s rewarding to see the impact their knowledge can have, reports The Philadelphia Inquirer. To read more click here.

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