Design Ability Inc.
Nonprofit

Design Ability Inc. was created to help children and adults with special needs and their families. We began by adapting common toys and making simple changes to therapy devices. Our more recent projects have been adapting off-road, side-by-side vehicles and golf carts into handicap friendly ATV and UTVs. We have a custom solution that will meet your needs.


Joystick Controlled

Steering, Throttle and Brakes

Polaris RZR 900 4x4

Polaris RZR 900 4x4

Polaris RZR 900 4x4 with Snow Tracks

Polaris RZR 800 4x4

Polaris RZR 800 4x4

Polaris RZR 800 4x4

Polaris RZR 800 4x4

Polaris RZR 170 Mini

Polaris RZR 1000 4x4

Polaris RZR 1000 4x4

Polaris RZR 570 4x4

Polaris RZR 570 4x4


Wheelchair Accessible
Joystick Controlled

Wheelchair Accessible
Yamaha Gas Golf Cart

Wheelchair Accessible
Yamaha Gas Golf Cart

Wheelchair Accessible
Yamaha Gas Golf Cart

Wheelchair Accessible
Polaris Ranger Crew 4x4

Wheelchair Accessible
Polaris Ranger Crew 4x4


Adaptive Projects

Projects for Special Needs Kids and Families


Projects Pages


Switch Multi-Direction
version 1

Switch Multi-Direction
version 2

Toy Train Switch

Modified iBird

Multi-Controller
WAV File Player

Computer Controller

Metal Wheelchair Spacer

Resin Wheelchair Spacer

Locking Pin Fix for Tray

Auto Ramp

Gravity Auto Feeder

Computer Games

Simple Number Game

Projects for Local Schools

Elmo Switched Toy with Sound

Switched Toy with Sound #1

Switched Toy with Sound #2

Play Tray with Ramp

Locking Pin Fix for Tray

Free Standing Mirror Repair

Broken Locking Pin Plates
for Activity / Feeding Tray

Bean Bag Toss Board Fix

About Us

Inspiration can strike from just about anywhere. When the idea for a joystick controlled vehicle took shape for design engineer Bill Stuck, he quickly turned his idea into reality. Drawing from the functionality of joystick controlled power wheelchairs, Stuck took that concept and applied it to configuring a UTV that would work in the same manner. The conversion from a left-side driven vehicle to one controlled by a right-side joystick is surprisingly smooth.


The Mission

Design Ability Inc. wants to provide opportunities for people whose disabilities prevent them from pursuing a recreational motor sport.

There are hundreds of organizations that support programs dedicated to various equine-assisted activities. Studies show that therapeutic equine riding increases confidence, improves self-concept, and that these activities aid social stimulation and lead to the acquisition of transferable skills.

While equine therapy is widely accepted, there is no such therapy for persons who want to operate a motor vehicle.

People with various cognitive and sensory disabilities could be helped with recreational driving activities. Driving requires attention, reasoning skills and memory. Because driving skill build with continued use, simple tasks can develop into complex skills.


The Story

Bill Stuck had two young sons. Bill and his older son rode dirt bikes and attended numerous motor sport events. As his son got older, those activities become a greater part of their lives. Bill’s younger son had severe cerebral palsy and many of those same events and activities were inaccessible to him. He would never ride a motorcycle. For years, Bill thought of ways that might allow him to introduce his younger son to his love of motor sports. Bill wanted his entire family to enjoy those activities together.

After test-driving a side by side vehicle, Bill knew it was what he had been looking for. He asked his son’s therapists for their opinions and suggestions. He then looked into the availability of equipment that would adapt the vehicle to meet the needs of various disabilities.

While researching the equipment he would need for his own project, Bill found a wide variety of activities that have been made accessible to persons with disabilities. The Adaptive Sport Association has programs that offer adaptive kayaking, fishing, cycling and skiing, to name a few. Through another program, quadriplegics are able to operate a sail-boat with the aid of a sip & puff device.

What Bill did not find was any group that offered adaptive motor sports. Bill felt that his idea could help fill that void. Many teens and young adults with disabilities will never get their driver’s license, but many yearn for the opportunity to drive a vehicle. Bill appreciated how meaningful it would be for those persons and their care-givers to have that opportunity.


The Plan

The side by side vehicle can be adapted so that the person sitting in the passenger seat is able to operate the vehicle using a variety of control devices. For safety reasons, the adapted driver is accompanied by an able-bodied person who has the option for a complete vehicle over-ride from the driver’s seat.

For most users, a joystick can control steering, throttle and brake. Limitations to those controls can be adjusted based on the abilities of each driver. The safety-driver can control as few or as many of those functions as is appropriate, with the ability to override them in an emergency. The emergency shut-off is available to cover all eventualities.

The mechanisms needed for all of these controls are available in the retail market, but need special customization as needed for this vehicle and its controllers.

The size of this vehicle allows for easy transportation. The user can operate the side by side in whatever environment is suitable for them, whether an empty parking lot, field or trail. For many potential drivers, the adapted side by side offers them their first opportunity to splash through a mud-puddle or feel the wind in their face as they speed through an open field.


Dillon Stuck - Love always

In Memory of Dillon Stuck

Last Updated 1/16/2015

Liability Release Agreement

 Contact Us

 

Location and Contacts

2024 Glastonbury Dr, Franklin, TN 37069

Phone: 615-509-3503

Email: bill@designabilityinc.com

Web: www.designabilityinc.com