Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Lego Prosthetics

This guy has been building himself prosthetics since he was 9.  He is now going to college to study biomechanics, with a goal of making affordable prosthetics for everyone who needs those.  That's great; we need more people with disabilities making stuff for people with disabilities, because they know the needs better.

However, this does highlight a garish and almost universal example of child neglect: the dearth of prosthetics, especially upper-body prosthetics, for growing children.  Adults don't want to provide that kind of health care because it's expensive, and constantly updating the gear for a growing child is a nuisance to the adults.  But the result is that many children don't grow up with prosthetics, or the right ones, and thus, don't develop their brains and bodies to use those.  Instead they adapt to whatever body parts they have, finding ways to do things as they are.  By the time adults get around to offering or forcing prosthetics, many young people have outgrown the potential to adopt them and just aren't interested.  Bluntly put, adults make prosthetics to make money, not to take care of kids, and that shapes the whole industry.  Or lack thereof.  So it's no wonder that the few disabled folks with superlative mechanical intelligence are taking matters into their own hands or equivalent.
Tags: activism, networking, video
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