Keep Moving Forward.
The Challenge to QL+ students at the University of Cincinnati is to design a convertible scooter cover for our Challenger, a Vietnam Veteran who suffers from Ischemic Optic Neuropathy and has very limited vision in both eyes and is legally blind. Our Challenger, Mike also suffers from Diabetes and heart issues, all stemming from his exposure to Agent Orange. He has some mobility deficits and uses a cane and a motorized scooter. Because of his sensitivity to the sun, he would like a motorized convertible-type cover for his scooter to keep him out of the sun as much as possible. He would also like to use it in case it rains. He would like to be able to extend the cover and retract it with the push of a button. This device will allow him to use his scooter for various outdoor activities, like taking his grandchildren to the zoo.
QL+ Teams have been working hard all school year and then COVID-19 changed everything. The universities and labs closed, and many of the students went back to their respective homes. This new normal has not stopped our teams from their work. They are adapting and doing what they can to complete their project.
The University of Cincinnati officially closed its doors on March 13th, sending students home and causing us to lose our main resource for getting our project built. Social distancing prevented us from even being able to work together. With our group scattered between Colerain, Newport, Mason, and Hilliard the project was scattered as well.
Mary Dickman had connections to be able to finish up the aluminum-based cover portion of our design and took that part home with her. Christina Harmon had a welder in her father’s basement and took the base of our project home with her. Hailey Tippett had an acquaintance with a 3D printer and was able to finish up the battery case and find the straps needed to attach it to the base. This allowed Lauren Williams to focus on the final documentation such as the drawings, final report, and presentation slides. Once completed everything was brought to Mason so that Christina could pick everything up, and finish assembling in Hilliard. A few minor adjustments need to be made, and the polyester cover needs to be cut and sewn, then the project will be completed. Through instant messaging and video meetings the group has been able to stay in touch throughout this process.
Keep moving forward. QL+ Challenger and Vietnam Veteran Mike Donnelly shared these words of wisdom with our QL+ students. And, this is exactly what we are doing.
Americans are experiencing extremely uncertain and difficult times. During this period, the Quality of Life Plus (QL+) board and staff want to share with you the steps we are taking to meet our responsibilities to our donors and our Challengers -- the wounded and disabled veterans and first responders with whom we are working at our partner universities around the nation.
It is important that QL+ continues and, wherever possible, completes its work.