Parapan Am Games: EngSci’s bring award-winning invention to Accessibility Innovations Showcase

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Angela Chen (Year 2 EngSci) demonstrates The Swivet at the Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) Competition, held earlier this year. (Photo: U of T News)

When these students attended their first live sledge hockey game, they were more interested in watching the players off the ice than on it.

Liam D’Souza, Angela ChenMazhar Jabakhanji, and Adithya Prashant (all EngSci Year 2) were only in their first year of Engineering Science at the University of Toronto when they came up with their idea for The Swivet.

The invention went on to win the Parasport and Active Living Award at this year’s Innovative Designs for Accessibility (IDeA) Student Competition.

You can see it their concept August 8 through 10 at the Accessibility Innovations Showcase at the MaRS Discovery District.

“It’s a swivelling cargo trailer that attaches to the back of a wheelchair and allows sledge hockey players to safely and independently carry their equipment,” says D’Souza.

The team developed The Swivet as part of Praxis I/II, a first-year design course in which they were asked to find a community in the GTA, and then find an opportunity where they could implement a design solution.

“We’re all hockey fans, so we went to an ice rink in Mississauga called Iceland. There was a sledge hockey game going on. We noticed that they were able to carry their equipment independently, but it wasn’t necessarily safely; the players in wheelchairs, specifically,” says D’Souza. “They had baggage all over them. We thought there could be a better, safer way for them to carry this equipment independently.” READ MORE