August 4, 2014 AT 2:00 am

This Manhattan Organization Designs Custom Furniture for Disabled Children

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The NYTimes.com profiled the NYC organization Adaptive Design, which makes custom furniture designs for disabled children. Adaptive Design teaches furniture building classes and workshops using materials such as cardboard and glue:

As a building material, cardboard was strong and inexpensive and could be shaped. The shop makes several hundred pieces each year for specific children. A child at a table in a wheelchair might be seated so low that she could just get her chin over the top of it. In the school cafeteria, the bench where “everyone” sits is not much use for a child who needs support on either side. But a sturdy cardboard seat could slide onto the bench and break that barrier. “We want to open-source everything,” Ms. Truesdell said. “We’re encouraging people to copy and replicate. With credit.”

…The work is done by design students and volunteers and people making a fresh start in life.

To build a soccer table board where children could use their hands, Amanda Parker, a fourth-year education student at New York University, collaborated with Vanessa Strubbe, an industrial design student at the University of Bridgeport, and Rodney Forte, a Navy veteran who is studying engineering. Ms. Parker, who was born with impairments to her speech and ability to walk, said she was acutely aware of how important the work is. “I have firsthand experience with how great adaptive technology can be,” she said.

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