Go Baby Go program builds custom toy cars for children

Jacob Smith • Jan 18, 2018 at 5:06 PM

The Go Baby Go program came to Wilson County on Thursday and brought its engineering challenge to Permobil in Lebanon.

Engineering students and researchers from Belmont University, Vanderbilt University and Power of Play came to the event to build custom-fit toy cars to improve the day-to-day lifestyle of children with mobility impairments.

According to Belmont University researcher and physical therapist Teresa Plummer, the Go Baby Go program is designed to help the development of young children with mobility impairments by providing them an alternative way to move around.

“It makes a tremendous difference in their development,” said Plummer. “Without it, without self-initiated mobility, they’re going to have developmental delays. If we can provide it for them at a young age, then their cognition develops faster, their visual skills develop, social skills, communication, socialization, social participation, so it’s a win-win. It’s not like we’re correcting disabilities. We’re doing that, but we’re also preventing disabilities.”

Engineering teams worked together while families watched to build five custom toy cars, each specially suited to its specific child’s mobility impairment.

After they were done, the children were allowed to drive their cars around Permobil’s interior. The children laughed as they steered the cars around the building and sometimes into each other’s cars.

Each family got to take their toy car home afterward.

Permobil is a leading global company of advanced rehabilitation technology, with a strong focus on improving the daily lives of people with disabilities. Permobil’s products include power wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs and seating solutions.

The Permobil Foundation is the philanthropic arm of Permobil. According to executive director Ashley Davis, the foundation believes that regardless of disability, everyone deserves a chance to reach his or her dreams without limitations.

“This is the heart of why Permobil cares,” said Davis. “Dedicated to enhancing the quality of life by empowering strength and independence through community support, employee engagement and working in partnership with nonprofit organizations and agencies to provide support and services so individuals can live a life without limitations.”

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