June 24, 2020


Our Innovative and Life-Changing Solutions

Challenge:  Transfer Step
Challenger:  Jeffery Dolezal, US Air Force Veteran
University Partner:  Ohio University
Student Team: Kenneth Bement, Trevor Fields, Nathan Schollaert, and, Kasey Somers
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Greg Kremer
QL+ Program Manager: Amber Humphrey

Project Summary:

Our Challenger is an Air Force Veteran who retired in 1980 due to a spinal cord injury. He has short legs and uses a make-shift transfer step to off-set his short legs as he transfers in and out of his van, and in and out of bed, etc. He is a T3 complete paraplegic and uses a wheelchair for his mobility.

This project was given to the group to design a more efficient and ergonomic transfer step for the challenger to get in and out of their wheelchair. The challenger previously used bent sheet metal and thick phonebooks as ways for him to put his feet on and use as a leverage point to get into another chair and vice versa. Our new design for the challenger includes the ability to change the height of the transfer step for when transfers may require a higher or lower leverage point. Rubber caps on the bottom of the new transfer surfaces allow for grip on all surfaces.

One major requirement was that the new design could fit in small suitcases for travel. The new design is able to fold in a compact manner allowing it to fit in small suitcases and backpacks for stress-free travel. This video provides some of the steps taken in designing the transfer step and testing of multiple designs.

We hope you enjoyed watching as much as we did helping Jeffery!

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A group of students helps a man by building a walker