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Congratulations to UNC senior design team members Lydia Hatfield, Mae-Lyn Leonard, Will James, and Brian Castro. Their project, A Fighting Bid, has been selected as one of six finalists in the 2014 National Student Design Competition sponsored by RESNA (Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America).

As part of their senior design course, these students worked with a young girl who has a spinal cord injury and uses a wheelchair for mobility. When it’s “circle time” in her kindergarten classroom, an aide has to pick her up to transfer to the floor to sit with her classmates. The aide then has to pick her up again when it’s time to transfer back to her wheelchair. The little girl wanted to do these transfers independently, so the students designed and built a set of steps that slides out from underneath her wheelchair. The kindergartener can scoot down the steps independently, one at a time, to reach the floor, and push herself back up the steps back to re-enter her wheelchair.

As one of the competition finalists, the students win a free trip to Indianapolis in June to present their project at the RESNA Annual Conference.

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