CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - At the GoBabyGo Workshop on October 24, volunteers will create specially modified toy cars and playground equipment for children with significant mobility impairments.
It runs from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. in the new Center for Innovation in Medical Professions at Cleveland State University.
The event is a celebration of Make a Difference Day, a national day of community service.
At CSU, teams of students, faculty and community members will make electrical and mechanical modifications to toy ride-on cars and playground equipment.
Children with special needs will learn to operate the devices as they practice sitting, standing and walking.
CSU recently was named a major hub for GoBabyGo, a national initiative to promote mobility across the lifespan, with funding from the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.
Research has shown that independent mobility positively impacts motor, cognitive, language and social-emotional development, particularly from birth to 5 years of age. GoBabyGo has relationships with industry leaders in assistive technology and children's products, as well as organizations nationally (The National Museum of American History) and locally (The Children's Museum of Cleveland).
Researchers in the GoBabyGo Lab inside CSU's Center for Innovation in Medical Professions are collaborating with researchers around the world to develop low-cost, high-impact technologies, including hands-free harness systems that support standing and walking without fear of falling for children and adults with mobility impairments.
CSU researchers also are testing the impact of therapeutic exercise using modified toy cars on balance, strength and coordination in children with Down Syndrome as part of a study funded by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development.