Redesigning Mobility Aid For Challenging Environments
Humanitarian crises hit vulnerable groups hardest, such as people with disabilities. Conflicts also create an increase in disabilities caused by injuries or malnutrition. When these disabilities result in the need for mobility assistive devices, navigating environmental obstacles in these limited-resource settings becomes much more difficult.
The project team from SUNY Korea and two other universities working in collaboration with a partner NGO of Bangladesh, Young Power in Social Action, will implement the innovation in a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. The team will develop and test an alternative design for the rubber shoe of mobility aids such as crutches and canes. This cost-effective design would function better in challenging environments such as unprepared and unpaved surfaces. Most rural areas, refugee camps, and conflict zones have such terrain and this new design will allow users to navigate with increased stability and thus result in an improved quality of life.