Mar 26, 2013
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
15 NOMINEES FROM AROUND THE WORLD SELECTED AS 2013 DA VINCI AWARDS® FINALISTS
- Awards created by Michigan Chapter of National MS Society to celebrate innovations in assistive & adaptive technologies that provide equal access and opportunity for all
- Finalists representing the United States and United Kingdom chosen from entries received from around the world
- Winners announced at April 11 awards gala at the Ford Conference and Event Center in Dearborn, Mich.; tickets available at www.davinciawards.org
- General Motors and UAW-GM are the Presenting Sponsors of the da Vinci Awards
- Public to help choose the “Leo” People’s Choice Award at www.youtube.com/davinciawards
SOUTHFIELD, Mich., March 20, 2013 – A wearable robotic device that enables paraplegics to walk again, a drop-in rowing system for rowboats and canoes that can be operated without the use of hands or arms and a shopping cart that allows special needs children and adults the opportunity to shop with their families or caregivers are a few of the 15 innovations selected as 2013 da Vinci Awards® finalists.
Benefiting the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society’s Michigan Chapter, the da Vinci Awards® is a prestigious, international forum recognizing developments and research in adaptive and assistive technologies that enable equal access and opportunity for all people, regardless of ability.
Finalists representing the United States and United Kingdom were chosen from entries received from around the world. U.S. finalists are from 11 states with three from Michigan.
Video submissions for each finalist are featured at www.youtube.com/davinciawards with a “Leo” People’s Choice Award presented to the finalist receiving the highest number of YouTube “thumbs up” votes.
Finalists and their innovative technologies will be honored April 11, 2013 at a special awards event at the Ford Conference and Event Center in Dearborn, Mich., with the 2013 da Vinci Award® winners announced live that evening. Tickets to the gala are available at www.davinciawards.org or by calling (248) 936-0342.
The finalists in each of five categories are:
- Communication/Educational Aids
- AbleGamers – Includification (Harpers Ferry, WV) - The AbleGamers Foundation is an organization that enables children and adults with disabilities to enjoy the world of video games. Includification is a 48-page fully illustrated guide published by AbleGamers on how to design video games for the disability community.
- Clarity’s Fortissimo Speakerphone (Chattanooga, TN) - is a hands-free and voice-activated speakerphone that combines amplification with easy-to-use, innovative features to help people with mobility challenges communicate easily via phone regardless of their location or position within a room.
- DaVinci HD/OCR CCTV (Huntington Beach, CA) – is a high performance desktop video magnifier (CCTV), featuring HD, text-to-speech (OCR) and a 3-in-1 camera that is designed to help persons with low vision lead independent lives by making it easier to read, write, do grooming and self-care, see things at a distance and engage in hobbies and crafts.
- Environmental Adaptation/Daily Living or Work Aids
- FlexForm Custom Seating System (Minneapolis, MN) - is designed to prevent the formation of pressure ulcers in wheelchair users and also provides enhanced postural stability and microclimate. FlexForm technology can be integrated into a custom manual wheelchair or designed as a stand-alone insert to fit on an existing manual or power chair.
FreedomWand (Zeeland, MI) – is a multi-purpose, multi-length tool. It helps people regain their dignity and independence by helping them with their personal grooming. It can hold a disposable shaver, ointment pad, washcloth and the all-important toilet tissue. It can be used from 7-21”, can be taken apart, and comes with a cloth carry bag for portability so people can have an active lifestyle.
- Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial Pathway (Presque Isle County, MI) - is a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) forest trail that takes you to the only publicly owned waterfall in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Recent improvements have made this the only universally accessible waterfall in the United States.
- bebionic3 – A Helping Hand (Leeds, United Kingdom) – is a multi-articulating myo-electric prosthetic hand from RSLSteeper, the UK’s leading upper extremity prosthetic manufacturer. With pioneering technology and innovative design, the bebionic hand has become the world’s most lifelike, affordable, easy-to-use and transformational myo-electric hand available.
- Joint Active Systems, Inc. (Effingham, IL) – makes and fits static progressive stretching devices for the shoulder, elbow, pronation/supination, wrist, finger, knee, ankle and toe and is the innovator and market leader for adjunctive stress relaxation and low-load stretch therapy, the proven approach for fast and effective joint range of motion (ROM) restoration.
- Indego™ Powered Orthosis (Cleveland, OH) - is a wearable robotic device that enables paraplegics to walk again. It provides complete support and power for walking to paraplegics and provides cooperative assistance in gait retraining for stroke rehabilitation.
- Recreation and Leisure
- Madonna ICARE by Sports Art (Lincoln, NE) – is a highly functional and affordable, therapeutic, motorized elliptical trainer used in hospitals, fitness facilities and homes to help people of all abilities, even those with very limited mobility, regain or improve their ability to walk and enhance their cardiovascular fitness.
- MonoMano Cycling Control System (Baltimore, MD) - enables stroke survivors, upper extremity amputees, and anyone else with the use of a single functional arm to participate in the sport of cycling, offering a fun outlet for recreation and rehabilitation.
- FrontRower Rowing System (Warren, RI) – is a drop-in rowing system for rowboats and canoes that can be operated without the use of hands or arms. It allows people with disabilities to enjoy recreation and exercise in small human powered boats.
- Transportation and Mobility
- Armstrong Lift by CCI (Madison Heights, MI) – is a scooter and wheelchair stowage device that mounts to the side wall and allows people to independently stow their power mobility devices in their vehicles.
- Caroline’s Cart (Alabaster, AL) - is the first innovative, trademarked and patented special needs shopping cart for older children and adults with special needs, allowing the opportunity to shop in grocery and retailers worldwide with their families or caregivers. For more information: www.carolinescart.com or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Mobilegs (Bloomington, MN) – are designed to improve on traditional crutches to provide greater stability, reduce secondary injuries, conserve physical energy and improve the recovery experience for individuals who have suffered an injury, have joint pain or have other issues with mobility.
Special honors, including a Lifetime Achievement Award, Spirit of da Vinci Award and Student of da Vinci Award, will also be presented to standouts in the field of assistive technology and the disability community.
Tickets and additional information about the April 11th da Vinci Awards gala are available at
About MS and the da Vinci Awards
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease usually diagnosed in young adults and the National MS Society understands the difficulties people experience when faced with physical disabilities.
About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.1 million people worldwide and over 18,000 in Michigan.
The Michigan Chapter of the National MS Society (www.nationalmssociety.org/mig) created the da Vinci Awards® in 2001 to foster innovation and hope by recognizing the latest developments and research in adaptive and assistive technologies, which play an important role in helping people overcome physical limitations.
The da Vinci Awards® were named after Leonardo da Vinci because of his documented talents as an inventor, philosopher, engineer, architect and artist. The name itself captures the spirit in which the awards are given.
Proceeds from the awards benefit the National MS Society’s Michigan Chapter. Michigan has one of the highest incident rates of MS in the U.S., with more than 18,000 residents living with multiple sclerosis.
An impartial panel of judges representing the technology and disability communities selected the finalists and da Vinci Award winners in each of five categories.
A complete list of past award winners can be found at www.davinciawards.org.
The 2013 da Vinci Awards® is generously supported by the following corporate sponsors: General Motors and UAW-GM; The Burton Family; Marketing Associates; Ability Magazine and Ability Jobs.com; Cow Cow Enterprises; EMD Serono-Pfizer; Teva Neuroscience; Beaumont Health System; Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan; Warner Norcross & Judd LLP; Wright & Filippis; EWI Worldwide; Delta Air Lines
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Cheryl Rothe Patti Radzik