Signal Centers Designer Creates Toys and Gadgets that Change Lives
Ezra Reynolds' mind goes a lot faster than a mile a minute. “I usually have five or six projects that I'm mentally tending,” the Assistive Technology Design Specialist at Signal Centers says. “It only stops when I've gotten something made and it's done to my satisfaction.”
He's used his two degrees in computer science and electrical engineering to build or adapt every toy or gadget on these shelves. “I developed the software for it, I developed how to make this. This was made out of arcade machine parts.”
Sometimes small creations that can make a big difference. “This was made for a little boy had Cerebral Palsy and vision loss. Each button has a different thing he can feel, because he is blind he needed something that is tactile,” Reynolds says. “It starts giving him the ability ask for something that he wants.”
But while Ezra's days are spent on the computer or with a tool in hand, he spends the rest of his time with his 4 daughters and his son Andrew. Ezra started his work at Signal Centers long before he his wife Kelly brought Andrew home from Ukraine, their fourth adopted child, each one with special needs.
“When we first started working with him, he had already gotten it through his head that he couldn't do these things because he didn’t have any limbs," Reynolds says.
And soon a Father's passion turned into a way to show his own son that he could do just about anything, like feed himself with a cuff that Ezra created on a 3-D printer or play alongside any typically developing child.
“Before that we would give him toys and he would sit there and cry because he already had it through his head that he couldn't. And then he realized, I can do this with the prosthetic on, I can play with the ball, or the truck or the toy with the prosthetic. And I can also do it without it."
It is, perhaps, Ezra's most important mission: showing Andrew and every child or adult he works with that, with a little modification, anything is possible
“It's a huge change because it went from ‘I can't’ to ‘I can.’ He gave himself the independence but I gave him the push to tell him you can do this by yourself."
For more information on Signal Centers’ Assistive Technology Services Program, click here to visit their website.
By: Latricia Thomas
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