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Accessible design.

A desk design recently created and produced by Johns Hopkins University (Baltimore) mechanical engineering students may help someone who often works from his or her bed because of disabilities.

The work station was crafted for handy access to paper files and computer equipment. The stained-birch, stationary desk has room for a desktop computer and printer. An acrylic six-sided carousel provides additional accessible storage.

Students Boyang Li, Olivia Mao, and Eillne Yoon responded to a request from Joy Goldberger, whose progressive neurodegenerative disease has resulted in her often working from her bed. Goldberger, a healthcare educator, sought help last year when working on a computer next to her bed became awkward.

Goldberger uses a wheelchair or crutches and must spend an extended amount of time in a semi-reclined position. She trains healthcare workers to assist parents of children with life-threatening diseases, leads seminars and workshops, and writes professionally. "Most of what I do involves working at a computer," Goldberger says. "I've been trying to continue working with as little physical effort as possible."

The students also designed an aluminum and plastic rolling metal cart equipped with a laptop computer to be used throughout Goldberger's home, including her patio. She can push the cart from her power wheelchair.

The desks are not being mass produced, but the designs will be kept with Volunteers for Medical Engineering (VME) (Baltimore).

Contact: Volunteers for Medical Engineering (VME), www.toad.net/~vme.

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Publication:PN - Paraplegia News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Aug 1, 2006
Words:236
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