Posted on Aug 24, 2015
The look of awe and wonder on Bri Sanderson’s face is priceless as she turns on a lighted glittery spinning ball all with the gentle touch of a big orange button. This seemingly simple device, the Rise Switch, has proven it can make all the difference in someone’s daily life who doesn’t have fine motor or manual dexterity.
“Having a child with special needs changes you; Bri changed me,” said Landen Sanderson who has adapted numerous toys for his daughter using the new Rise Switch.
“She has opened my eyes and helped me see a need. Kids with special needs want to play and make life fun just like other kids. Sometimes they need special adaptations to their toys.”
Together with rehabilitative staff from Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute in Golden Valley, volunteer engineers have been modifying toys and devices with assistive technology for people who have physical challenges and limited manual mobility and dexterity since 2006.
But when the engineers found that many of the switches to operate the modified products were cost-prohibitive to parents of young children and adult users, they designed a new switch that was simple and affordable.
In 2014, Rise acquired the plans to manufacture and distribute the Rise Switch through a generous grant. Rise workers at Rise’s production facility in Spring Lake Park assemble the Rise Switch and package it for distribution throughout the United States.
The Rise Switch opens up a whole new range of everyday activities for people at home and work. For instance, Rise workers are using them on the job and to operate their communication devices. Kids are using the Rise Switch to play with toys.
The Rise Switch can be plugged into any device that has been manufactured or modified with a low-voltage 3.5mm jack and is perfect for people of all ages to use with:
* Laptop computers
* Small appliances
* Communication devices
* Environmental access
This article appears in the September 2015 issue of the Rise Reporter.