Clarkson University student gives a toy car a makeover for local child with disabilities

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Clarkson University Occupational Therapy Student Beth Ann Davies

POTSDAM, N.Y. (WWTI) — A North Country child will be “riding in style” according to Clarkson University.

Clarkson University Occupational Therapy Student Beth Ann Davie, from Zionsville, Pennsylvania retrofitted a toy car for a local child with disabilities. This project was a part of Davie’s capstone project, which prompted her to “make a positive impact on the life of someone in the local community.”

The retrofitted ride-on toy car will now go to a local child to use to move around and play. According to Clarkson, Davies was inspired from Go-Baby-Go, a program that provides similar car to children with disabilities.

Davies also partnered with Clarkson University physical therapy and engineering students. The car was made with items found at the store such as cardboard, PVC pipe and a gel cushion.

Davies explained her process to create the customized vehicle.

“To start the process of the Jeep, measurements of the child were taken with the child sitting in the jeep in order for us to have a baseline. From there, I met with [physical therapy students] Emily Massey and Alexander Bondarenko to figure out what measurements we needed for building the seat, which was made out of cardboard,” shared Davies. “To ensure the seat would hold the weight of a child we used cardboard construction videos as a guide. Once the seat was built the team was able to come together to discuss the type of cushioning needed for the adapted seat as well as what to cover it with.”

She added, “while the seat adaptations were going on I was also meeting with [Engineering student] Victoria Keating to figure out how to rewire the Jeep for a push-button switch to make the car go. In addition to changing the seat and adding a push button, we replaced the steering wheel with a T-handle bar made out of PVC pipe to make it easier for the child to steer.” 

A photo of Beth Ann Davie and her retrofitted car is featured at the top of the story.

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