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IceCube 

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Skating Aid for People With Special Needs

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Hypotonia and developmental delays affect 17-year-old Liam’s balance, coordination and reflexes. But he wants to skate! Other skating aids were great for helping other kids learn to skate... they just didn't work for him. They didn't prevent him from falling backward or sideways. And he outgrew them anyway. We couldn't safely hold him up on the ice anymore. But we love to skate and he refuses to give up! So, with Liam and some of his buddies as test pilots, we developed the IceCube. Inside the IceCube, kids can propel themselves and steer while the softly padded straddle rail and side rails greatly reduce the risk of falling! If necessary, a family member, friend or volunteer can help push the device along - as fast as they like! With time and practice, most kids graduate to the exterior of the device, which continues to provide support. Some eventually learn to skate independently. Liam may never master the skill, but he won't ever be left behind!

 

The IceCube provides 360-degree protection, folds flat, and fits in a car. It can be towed like a suitcase on the way to the rink and can be set up in under two minutes. Its configuration can be adjusted for growth. And it can be re-adjusted in seconds to accommodate new skills or varying levels of strength and energy in a single skating session. It can even be set up as a flat bench that glides on the ice if the skater needs to rest.

 

With the help of Gofundme contributions, we have made significant functional improvements over the last two skating seasons.

 

In March and April of 2023 we had three devices available for skating class with Liam and friends who all have special needs. Each one used the device differently or in a different configuration. Smiles to melt your heart!

 

The prototype has proven safe and functional for kids and adults who have one or more handicaps such as developmental delays, autism, hypotonia, mobility, balance or coordination issues. Now we need funding to make the design lighter, more durable and easier to produce so it can be made available to other disabled kids who long for a safe way to skate with family and friends next winter.


Our dream is that one day, it will be a common sight for disabled individuals and their families to be out "Cubing" on their local rinks and safely taking part in the winter life of cities across North America.  

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