Transforming Lives, One Design at a Time: Shower Chair for Special Needs Youth

Imagine a world where classrooms are not just places of learning but incubators of compassion and innovation. At the Cedar Trails Exploration Center (CTEC), we are proud to share a story that exemplifies the incredible impact your donations can have on real lives.

Last year, a local mother reached out to us through CTEC CAPS Program seeking help for her three-year-old daughter with cerebral palsy. The challenge was significant—creating a “shower chair” that would provide comfort and safety for a child growing too big to be held in her mother’s arms during bathing.

What happened next was nothing short of extraordinary. CAPS students embraced the opportunity to make a difference. They didn’t just design a chair; they forged a connection with the family, immersing themselves in the real-world challenges faced by individuals with diverse abilities.

“By inviting the family to our school, our students not only gained valuable insights into the specific needs of the child but also developed a deep sense of empathy. Measurements were taken, designs were crafted, and a prototype e

merged from recycled cardboard and hot glue,” states Tim Mispagel, CAPS Administrator.

But the commitment didn’t stop there. To ensure the chair was not just functional but a source of joy, CAPS students added fine details, sculpting the surface with clay to enhance comfort and ergonomics. Inspired by the child’s love of the splashing sound of water, a feature was incorporated to make each bath a delightful experience.

The journey is ongoing. Currently, CAPS students are in the intricate mold-making process, creating a lasting solution that goes beyond the initial prototype. Once completed, the chair will be made from expandable foam, coated with a waterproof barrier in the child’s favorite color—pink.

This story was originally posted by the USD 232 Education Foundation.