My name is Kit Frank and in the prosthetics clinic where I have volunteered in Ibarra, Ecuador for the past eight years, I realized there was an urgent need for better positioning for children. I discovered ADA and found that the methods used could effectively be translated to this setting. About five years ago I began to construct equipment from cardboard. This work evolved from borrowing tools and working on the floor to having a workshop constructed by the local government, working with various health providers and parents, training an interested individual, and supervising a half-time adaptive design workshop year-round, with assistance for the past two years from the Dorothea Ross Foundation.

Samantha’s Story:

Samantha had no experience with independent sitting. Samantha was evaluated and measured during a week-long class with health care providers from Esmeraldas in 2012. It was decided that she would have two alternative positions in the seat: laid back for relaxation and upright for function. The class devised a multi-positional support wedge that, because of its peaks and valleys, was dubbed “Chimborazo” – named after the largest mountain in Ecuador.

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Samantha during evaluation

She was pretty angry when we measured her and again when we placed her in her seat, beautifully decorated by her mom. Her mom hoped that Samantha could play independently for short periods.

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The construction of Chimborazo

Two weeks later, her mom reported to us that Samantha loved the seat in its upright position and wanted to use it all the time. She played independently and her mom could do things that she wanted and needed to do around the house.

This assertive little gal wanted the independence that upright sitting provided and had no use for the more relaxed but less functional tilted-back position.

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First time in her seat: relaxed position
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In her seat: upright for function