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Innovative Dodgeball Launcher Brings Joy and Inclusion

Curriculum & Learning, Events & Celebrations, General News
Alexis with some of her classmates beside the dodgeball launcher.

In June, the CanAssist engineering team delivered an innovative dodgeball launcher to a cheerful and active 9-year-old student in our district named Alexis. Alexis has limited control of her arms and hands and uses a wheelchair. Her school team had reached out to CanAssist hoping for a solution that would help Alexis participate in physical activities with her classmates.

CanAssist’s engineering team rose to the challenge, designing and manufacturing a switch-accessible motorized ball-throwing device. This innovative device allows people who may not be able to throw a ball to engage in a range of ball sports and activities. The dodgeball launcher features a speed adjustment to select the launch distance and an additional setting to launch the ball with a left or right curve. The current launcher can launch a 6.5 foam dodgeball.

“This technology opens a whole new world for Alexis,” says Tara, a speech-language pathologist in SD72. “It will allow her to participate in a way she never has before. She will be able to throw a ball, play a game, be included with her peers, and independently participate in physical activity.”

The CanAssist team hopes to further refine the technology to work with different ball sizes for other sports such as basketball, volleyball, and soccer. This aims to provide more inclusive opportunities for students like Alexis, ensuring they can participate fully in various physical activities. 

This initiative exemplifies our district’s commitment to inclusivity and the belief that all students should have equitable opportunities to engage and excel. We are excited to see Alexis enjoy participating in games and activities with her friends!

For more information on CanAssist and their innovative projects, visit their website here.

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