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UNG's Department of Physical Therapy cREATe Project

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(UNG: University of North Georgia)

(14 doctoral students in UNG's Department of Physical Therapy; 9 industrial design students from the Georgia Institute of Technology; 4 blended, faculty-guided teams; 1 week of collaborating with clients to create innovative devices that make life easier)

(CREATE: Creating Rehab Engineering and Assistive Technology Experiences)

Dr. Teresa Conner-Kerr: (dean of UNG's College of Health Sciences & Professions) The beauty of this collaboration was that patients didn't just have a design student or physical therapy student working on their problems but a team. They were working together in a collaborative group dedicated to really taking the patient's feedback and ideas, the family's ideas and helping them create a device that worked for them at home and in their community and really a device that was the best possible device for them.

(Evan has a condition causing slow motor development and decreased control of the head and neck so to strengthen those muscles, his team created a portable play environment.)

Laura Kight: (UNG physical therapy student) This is a truly unique experience to team up with other aspiring physical therapists and engineers who are working together to improve patients' quality of life.

Stephen Clack: (UNG physical therapy student) I feel like when you combine the clinical knowledge and clinical skills of the physical therapy students with the intuition and intellect and the design mind of the Georgia Tech engineering students, you get a really great end product that is very satisfying for the patient and that's really what we're striving for with this.

Dr. Stephen Sprigle: (professor of applied physiology and industrial design at Georgia Tech) This design build class is much different than most design build classes in that it's really an assistive technology intervention and that means they get a very intimate type of relationship with their particular client the person with a disability for whom they're trying to solve a problem. Because of that what I hope they gain from it is simply a fuller understanding about the functional differences that we all have.

(Produced by the Office of University Relations. Copyright University of North Georgia. August 2015)

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