Thursday, June 23, 2011

Wheelchair Innovation by Teens in Plainfield

Every once in a while, I get to write about something cool and fun and human. This is one of those times. 

According to the articles listed below, Stephen Scholl is a senior at a local Plainfield, Indiana high school. He participates in a recycling program that has been wildly successful at his school. In an article about his Life Skills class and classmates – a fellow student saw a picture of Stephen and a need he could fill. Tim Balz and companions got together to build Stephen a powered chair to replace his manual one. This would make many aspects of Stephen’s life easier, including collecting recycling.

This effort has grown well beyond both teens and their friends and family. I found this story through a link sent to me by D, here at the IndyStar.The comments are surprisingly civil for the Indy Star (as of my reading of them), but one should probably exercise caution anyway. Besides the local paper of record, this also received coverage from at least one local news station, WTHR.
This is also a good article, although the comments are a little more problematic as some of the commenters are unfamiliar with “people first language” and poorly defend the author’s use of the phrase “wheelchair bound.”

This has grown into Wheelchairs for Special Needs. If you go to the linked Facebook page you can get caught up on their current and past efforts, and find out where you can help. From the comments at the IndyStar article: “I received an e-mail back from Josh Duke, the author of this story. He said that if anyone is interested in donating to Freedom Chairs, they can contact Tim Balz directly at

From the Facebook page: “Great News! It turns out that we are [allowed] to accept donations. The only issue is that we cannot give tax deductions at this point in time. We will soon set up a method for you to be able to donate!”

Enjoy your day!

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