San Diego Dad Transforms Son's Potentially Fatal Diagnosis into Liberating Accessibility Device for Others

Thursday, September 6, 2018 Medical Gadgets
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To help his son, Dylan Vaughn set out to create a functional open source power wheelchair for people to make themselves, saving anywhere from $3,000-$20,000, which he will present at Maker Faire San Diego, Oct. 6-7.

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 6, 2018 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- San Diego software engineer Dylan

Vaughn received the tragic diagnosis in 2013: his eldest son, then four years old, had a progressive form of Muscular Dystrophy called Duchenne's. This rare genetic disease affects predominantly boys, causing muscle weakness and degeneration throughout the body, including the heart and respiratory systems. Most sufferers require a wheelchair by the age of 12.

"After the shock of diagnosis, I realized that one way I could try to help Connor, and others, was to bring all this new technology into the space of people with disabilities," says Vaughn. "I wanted to fill an unmet need in the community for an affordable, easily built power chair."

So in 2016 Vaughn began creating different prototypes, made of PVC pipe and other components available at the hardware store and Amazon. The key factor in this endeavor was not to create a product that people could buy, but to design a reliable, functional open source power wheelchair for people to make themselves, saving anywhere from $3,000-$20,000 on a commercially made power chair.

Now on its fourth prototype, Vaughn and his team are continuing to enhance the design, making it more reliable and effective. Vaughn will be presenting his latest version at Maker Faire San Diego, October 6-7, in Balboa Park. Attendees can see the device in action and talk directly to its makers.

"We are so excited to share the PVC Chair project at the San Diego Maker Faire this year," Vaughn says. "Maker Faire is a place we can connect with the many different groups of people who are connected to this project—makers, health care professionals, and people with disabilities as well as be inspired ourselves by all the other great projects on display."

Advance ticket adult prices start at just $21, children at $13. Admission includes entry to all participating venues. To purchase tickets, visit https://sandiego.makerfaire.com/ticket/. Purchasing a weekend pass will allow visitors time to experience all of the museums participating in this event.

ABOUT MAKER FAIRE: Maker Faire is an award winning, family friendly event celebrating technology, education, science, arts, crafts, engineering, food, sustainability, and more. Maker Faire has become part of pop culture, a place for experiential marketing, debuting new technologies and inventions, and celebrating geekdom. Maker Media produces two annual flagship Maker Faires, partners with museums to produce Featured Maker Faires, and works with communities to license Mini Maker Faires around the world http://makerfaire.com/.

HISTORY OF MAKER FAIRE: The first Maker Faire launched in May 2006 in the San Francisco Bay Area and was quickly followed by Faires in Austin, Detroit and New York City, as well as others around the world. Technology has lowered the barriers to entry to becoming a Maker and this launched the Maker Movement which fuels Maker Faire. Maker Faire was designed to be forward-looking, showcasing Makers who are exploring new forms and new technologies. But it's not just for exhibiting what's new in technical fields—Maker Faire features innovation and experimentation across the spectrum of science, engineering, art, performance and craft.

ABOUT THE BALBOA PARK CULTURAL PARTNERSHIP: Balboa Park Cultural Partnership is a nonprofit organization through which 30 arts, science and cultural institutions in Balboa Park collaborate to achieve shared goals. By helping these groups achieve greater organizational efficiency, innovation and excellence, it seeks to contribute to the vitality and sustainability of Balboa Park. For more information visit http://www.bpcp.org.

 

SOURCE Maker Faire San Diego



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