ADAPT Shop using cutting-edge technology to create custom equipment

The ADAPT Shop is changing the lives of Valley children with physical disabilities by providing them with custom, adaptive technology fabricated with the help of experienced therapists, pathologists and fabricators, as well as the latest technology – from 3D printers to body-scanning iPads.

ADAPT Shop Fabricator Brady Fulton hand-crafts components for customized equipment

ADAPT Shop products are unique in that many of them are custom-made in the workshop using cutting-edge technology like 3D printers. From mobile scooters to spoons, they adaptive technology is designed and fabricated just for children and for their specific needs. Families in search of answers get help from the ADAPT Shop in determining what equipment would be most helpful for their child whether it needs to be custom made or if it’s commercially available.

“The ADAPT Shop is meeting a need that’s simply not met in many places in the country,” said Ginger Ward, CEO of Southwest Human Development. “There’s a lack of equipment available for younger children with disabilities, and as a result, their growth and quality of life is even further compromised. Our goal is to change that and to provide these children and their families with the tools they need to enjoy life more and increase their capabilities.”

Additive manufacturing digital fabrication army: Ultimaker 3 3D Printer, Lulzbot Taz6 3D Printer, and Markforged The Mark Two 3D Printer

Since it opened, Southwest Human Development’s ADAPT Shop has gained a reputation as a reliable center for adaptive technology that can solve both common and rare physical challenges that children with disabilities face as they grow.

The ADAPT Shop has helped more than 530 young children with disabilities that keep them from being able to fully participate in everyday activities at home, with their friends and at school.

The problem-solving process begins during the child’s therapy. Together, the Southwest Human Development therapists collaborate with the families and ADAPT Shop fabricators to design and craft new equipment which can give the children new mobility, strength and confidence. Its products have included a “stand-up bar” that children grab to pull themselves from a seated position to stand, a toddler scooter to help children who cannot move their bodies without assistance, a new switch that gives children the ability to play with toys and move the scooter around, so they can be independently mobile, among many others.

Blueprints for customized equipment are mapped out digitally before creation

The ADAPT Shop creates something new every day because each new child referred to the program – and each new milestone a child reaches – leads the ADAPT Shop to develop another piece of equipment to help the child reach his or her greatest potential.

Community therapists are on hand to team with the ADAPT Shop on adaptation ideas and fabrications for their clients and occupational and physical therapists with technology knowledge and experience are also available to pitch in their expertise.

Heather Magdelano, a mother of two, who both have a rare disorder that impacts their sight, hearing and muscle development, said the ADAPT Shop has made a huge difference for her family.

“The ADAPT Shop has opened up our world to possibilities that we weren’t able to see and we’ve been able to do things that we weren’t able to do before,” she says. “They’re now able to sit upright and interact with others thanks to the ADAPT Shop’s support and their vision.”

You can help children with disabilities, learn how you can support the ADAPT Shop today!