dimanche 28 juin 2009

Ingenious inventions for the disabled

Tucked away in a dilapidated, one-story building in the sprawling Sheba Hospital complex at Tel Hashomer, the headquarters of the nonprofit MILBAT organization are small and unassuming - especially considering the number of innovative products it churns out every year. Unlike companies who create, design and manufacture new products with the specific goal of making a profit, MILBAT has a different objective: to better the lives of physically and mentally disabled people and the elderly.

Yael Shaked-Bregman, one of the relatively few salaried employees, greets me in the spacious entrance to tour the facility. A tall blonde with a smile that lights up her entire face, she shares her personal experiences over the last 14 years at MILBAT with the pride and passion of a dedicated professional who fully believes in the benefits of her work. One of about 20 therapists on staff, she arrived at the organization as a student of occupational therapy and never left.

As we tour several rooms brimming with prototypes and sample products, it is clear that this is no ordinary organization. A wooden baby crib for mothers in wheelchairs has doors that open to the side instead of up; special computer keyboards are fitted with a metal grate to allow people with tremors to type; a remote control car for disabled children has giant plastic buttons; and an electric organ specially designed for the handicapped is fitted with large keys and colorful, round knobs so that it can be used as both a musical instrument and a therapeutic device.
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Source: article de Meredith Price Levitt @ JPost

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