Thanksgiving 2014, I blurted out to my family at the dinner table, I'm going to make a device that will help my students play ball games! I had a sketch and a very big hope that I could actually get this done.
How this device came about- I am an Adapted Physical Education Specialist. I work with students with mild to severe disabilities, challenging them individually to do their best to expand their motor skills.They typically have multiple disabilities: orthopedic impairment, intellectual deficiency, are non-verbal, and have medical concerns, such as seizures or feeding tubesWe need to be very creative in finding motor activities that are safe, within their reach, and yet challenging.
I spent a lot of time looking for a product similar to the Kicker Helper, but never found one. I made it my mission to develop a product that would work for my students. I created one out of PVC, pool noodles and an old tennis shoe. The problem was that I could not fasten it tight enough onto the arm rest of the wheelchair. It was not stable and would fall off. It was time to get professionally help.
I have had the help of a theater set builder, several welders, and an engineer to help with ideas and ended up with five different prototypes over the next few years.
After introducing the Kicker Helper to my students and to other Special Needs professionals and getting a lot of positive feedback, I’ve decided to move this project forward by making it available to the Special Needs community!