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National MS Society, Michigan Chapter

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Winners of International 2013 da Vinci Awards Announced at April 11 Awards Gala

Southfield, MI, April 14, 2013 --( Months of nominating, judging and YouTube video viewing culminated Thursday, April 11 with 15 finalists coming together at the Ford Conference and Event Center in Dearborn, Michigan, for the announcement of the 2013 da Vinci Award® winners.

A special needs shopping cart for older children and adults, a multi-articulating myo-electric prosthetic lifelike hand, a motorized elliptical trainer, design of video games for the disability community and the only universally accessible waterfall in the United States (Presque Isle County, Michigan) were winners of this year’s awards which drew nominations from across the U.S, France and United Kingdom.

Benefiting the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society’s Michigan Chapter, the da Vinci Awards is a prestigious international forum recognizing the latest developments and research in adaptive and assistive technologies that enable equal access and opportunity for all people, regardless of ability.

In addition to the five category winners, a special 2013 Spirit of da Vinci Award was given to Jeremy Campbell, Team US Gold Medalist at the 2012 London Paralympic Games, for his accomplishments and ongoing advocacy for those with disabilities.

Ralph Braun, Founder & CEO of the Braun Corporation, was honored posthumously with the Lifetime Achievement Award. Braun has left a permanent legacy in the mobility community and is regarded as a true pioneer of an industry that has brought freedom to hundreds of thousands of individuals across the world.

The 2013 da Vinci Award winners are:

Communication/Educational Aids

- AbleGamers – Includification (Harpers Ferry, WV) - The AbleGamers Foundation is an organization that enables children and adults with disabilities to enjoy the world of video games. Includification is a 48-page fully illustrated guide published by AbleGamers on how to design video games for the disability community.

Environmental Adaptation/Daily Living or Work Aids

Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial Pathway (Presque Isle County, MI) - is a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) forest trail that takes you to the only publicly owned waterfall in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Recent improvements have made this the only universally accessible waterfall in the United States.


bebionic3 – A Helping Hand (Leeds, United Kingdom) – is a multi-articulating myo-electric prosthetic hand from RSLSteeper, the UK’s leading upper extremity prosthetic manufacturer. With pioneering technology and innovative design, the bebionic hand has become the world’s most lifelike, affordable, easy-to-use and transformational myo-electric hand available.

Recreation and Leisure

- Madonna ICARE by Sports Art (Lincoln, NE) – is a highly functional and affordable, therapeutic, motorized elliptical trainer used in hospitals, fitness facilities and homes to help people of all abilities, even those with very limited mobility, regain or improve their ability to walk and enhance their cardiovascular fitness.

Transportation and Mobility

- Caroline’s Cart (Alabaster, AL) - is the first innovative, trademarked and patented special needs shopping cart for older children and adults with special needs, allowing the opportunity to shop in grocery and retailers worldwide with their families or caregivers.

Video submissions for each finalist were featured at with a special “Leo” award presented to AbleGamers of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, for receiving a combination of the most views and “Like” (thumbs up) votes.

A biomedical engineering graduate student team from the University of Rochester won the Student of da Vinci Award for the MonoMano Cycling Control System. MonoMano enables stroke survivors, upper extremity amputees, and anyone else with the use of a single functional arm to participate in the sport of cycling, offering a fun outlet for recreation and rehabilitation.

About MS and the da Vinci Awards
Multiple sclerosis is a chronic disease usually diagnosed in young adults and the National MS Society understands the difficulties people experience when faced with physical disabilities.

About Multiple Sclerosis
Multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system, interrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.1 million people worldwide and over 18,000 in Michigan.

The Michigan Chapter of the National MS Society ( created the da Vinci Awards® in 2001 to foster innovation and hope by recognizing the latest developments and research in adaptive and assistive technologies, which play an important role in helping people overcome physical limitations.

The da Vinci Awards® were named after Leonardo da Vinci because of his documented talents as an inventor, philosopher, engineer, architect and artist. The name itself captures the spirit in which the awards are given.

Proceeds from the awards benefit the National MS Society’s Michigan Chapter. Michigan has one of the highest incident rates of MS in the U.S., with more than 18,000 residents living with multiple sclerosis.


Cheryl Rothe Patti Radzik
248-936-0360 248-936-0342
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National MS Society, Michigan Chapter
Cheryl Rothe

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