Mom Designs Shopping Cart for People with Special Needs

December 18, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. seat / sit / (v.) – 
to place someone in a sitting position on something
Example: She seated the toddler on the high chair.

2. take it upon oneself (to) / teɪk ɪt əˈpɒn / (idiom) – to do something without being asked
Example: He took it upon himself to fix the broken pipes.

3. degenerative / dɪˈdʒɛn ər ə tɪv / (adj.) – causing to decline physically, mentally, etc.
Example: He started having difficulty walking months after being diagnosed with a degenerative disease.

4. garner / ˈgɑr nər / (v.) – to get or acquire
Example: I hope we can garner enough points to stay in the game.

5. endeavor / ɛnˈdɛv ər /  (n.) – an effort or attempt
Example: The team received a medal as recognition of their endeavors.


Read the text below.
A mother from Alabama has created a shopping cart specially designed for people with special needs.

Drew Ann Long, who has a daughter who uses a wheelchair, came up with the idea eight years ago. She was at a grocery store looking for a shopping cart where she could seat her daughter Caroline, who was then seven years old. After scanning the whole place, she found several types of shopping carts where smaller children may sit, but realized that none was suitable for her daughter.

With this, Drew Ann took it upon herself to sketch a shopping cart design that she envisioned for Caroline, who suffers from a degenerative disorder called Rett syndrome. The condition is a rare genetic disorder that usually affects girls, and causes a decline in the ability to speak and move independently.

Drew Ann uploaded the photos of her finished sketches on the Internet, where they garnered an overwhelming response. Afterward, she applied for a patent for the cart, which she called Caroline’s cart. Then, she found people who helped her get the product on the market, and convinced retailers to sell her carts. Some major stores in the United States started using the carts in 2015.

Currently, innovations for people with special needs are increasing. Several organizations are working toward this endeavor. For instance, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has initiated Enable Makeathon, a global project that aims to create innovative devices meant to assist people with disabilities residing in rural areas. In the Makeathon, participants try to solve the everyday struggles of people with disabilities with fresh inventions.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         If you were Caroline’s mom, what would you invent for your child? Discuss.
·         Aside from the Enable Makeathon, what other events can be held to help people with disabilities?

Discussion B

·         What is the importance of making devices that assist people with disabilities?
·         Aside from inventing devices, how else can we make the lives of people with disabilities easier?

December 18, 2016