2017 GBG group photo

“Wow! We are mobile!”

IMG_9227On a crisp fall day, four families served by Connections Beyond Sight and Sound joined CBSS staff and Advisory Committee members for an exciting afternoon of creative fun, adaptive productivity, and social networking.

The four-hour workshop offered parents and siblings the opportunity to customize a child-size car for the child with special needs in their family. The finished vehicle would be a perfect fit — not only adapted to the medical and logistic needs of each child, but also expressing each child’s unique personality, style, and flair!

The event was facilitated by the “GoBabyGo!” team from the Delaware organization, which is committed to a single, urgent vision – for all people to explore their world via independent mobility. According to their website, “the GBG ride-on cars for young children are community-built activities that empower the driver to become socially mobile, and enjoy recreational activities independently or with their peers.”

IMG_9102The mission for this workshop was to support young children with vision and hearing impairments who are served by CBSS and their families in building an adapted car – an afternoon activity that would provide them with the chance to participate in an enjoyable childhood experience, to network with other families, and to create an accessible and fun resource for the child to enjoy.

CBSS covered the construction costs for three of the four cars, through sponsorships and donations. The fourth car was a generous gift from Caroline, one of the GBG staff member, who secured donated time and materials to ensure that all four participating CBSS families would have their own adapted vehicle at the end of the day.

“Success!” exclaimed Jen Willis, CBSS Project Coordinator and organizer of the November 2017 GBG workshop. “Everyone worked hard, and played hard, and had a great time, while creating a unique and usable mobility toy for their child.”

The workshop was attended by mothers, fathers, siblings, and children with dual sensory impairments who enjoyed refreshments and conversation, and activities and networking in addition to the car construction.

“The dads really enjoyed working on the cars and did a lot of the building and adapting,” Willis commented. “It was great to see them enjoying the chance to build something, to chat with other dads, and to use some power tools to create something really special for their child.”

IMG_9307According to Willis, this workshop was the first one in which the  GoBabyGo! team had “families” build their own cars. “Usually, the GBG team uses professionals — like the GBG staff members, or PTs and OTs at a conference, or the staff of whatever organization is funding the cars — to do the build and adaptations,” she said. “Then the families just show up at the end to receive the car. But this was an awesome opportunity for families to work together on a project for their child, and to also socialize, have fun, and get to know each other around a collaborative effort.”

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In addition to the car adaptation activity, the “Pets on Wheels” organization was present to help entertain the children and parents throughout the event. “Not only did we have several dogs that patiently allowed our children to explore them,” Willis said, “but we also had a friendly cat, and a 60 pound tortoise in a dress which fascinated everyone there!”
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CBSS covered the construction costs for three of the four cars, through sponsorships and donations. The fourth car was a generous gift from Caroline, one of the GBG staff member, who secured donated time and materials to ensure that all four participating CBSS families would have their own adapted vehicle at the end of the day.
 
Joining the families, CBSS staff and AC members, and the GBG team were two of the event sponsors —  Donna Spare and Chris Drewer from Advance Realty, who helped the families with the adapting and decorating process.
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IMG_8927At the end of the day, four customized and decorated cars were switch-adapted, and the switches were placed at the necessary locations for each child to access in the way the fit their needs. Some of the children operated the switches with their hands, and others with their feet. But all of the children were able to enjoy their personalized ride-on vehicle.
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“The parents were ecstatic to see their child doing something independently,” Willis said, “something that they otherwise would not be able to access. Something ‘typical’ for children whose lives are usually anything but typical.”
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As the children and families expressed appreciation at the end of the day, everyone was all smiles. Before heading out the door with her son and his new GoBabyGo! adapted car, one mom turned around and said, “Wow! We are mobile!”

CBSS logo strip 14
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For more information about
GoBabyGo!

visit their website here… 

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CBSS logo strip 14

Thank you to those who provided
financial support for this workshop
so that children and families
could have a free and fun day
of working and playing together!

realty logo

gbg logo


Chris Drewer

Rob Munson
David Pinto
Donna Spare

CBSS logo strip 14
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Our 2017 GoBabyGo!
Photo Album