By Laura J. Cole
Hundreds of Central Florida children are sitting still due to motor impairment, and Jennifer Tucker, a lecturer in the Doctor of Physical Therapy Program, is working to change that. Under her guidance, UCF is helping families transform motorized toy cars into a way for children to explore their environment. The university has hosted two workshops on campus as part of GoBabyGo, a program started at the University of Delaware that has developed an inexpensive way to retrofit existing cars with items such as foam pool noodles, kickboards and PVC pipes. And so far, the team at UCF has enabled 27 children to get moving.
“When she got in that car, it only took her a few seconds to figure it out. She was just laughing and laughing — and we had never experienced that before. It’s really been a blessing.”Kay Bowman, grandmother of Ava, 2, who has neurological damage as a result of birth trauma
Number of children age 0 to 3 in the U.S. receiving early intervention for mobility impairment and social limitations
Cost of a traditional power wheelchair*
*Very few children under the age of 3 are insured for power wheelchairs, even if needed. GoBabyGo vehicles do not replace power wheelchairs but instead offer early mobility for young children, encouraging increased social engagement and exploration, which in turn influences cognitive development.
Cost of toy vehicle retrofitted by GoBabyGo
Total number of volunteers at UCF workshops