The winners of the 2015 Maddak Awards were announced by Susan Tulanowski, Brand Manager, SP Ableware – Maddak, during the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Conference in Nashville, Tenn at a complimentary breakfast sponsored by SP Ableware/Maddak. Tulanowski notes in a media release from the company: “Interest in the Maddak Awards continues to grow with almost 100 submissions this year. We appreciate the time and interest our volunteer panel of judges put into reviewing the submissions and selecting our winners.”

Tulanowski describes the competition as a forum for practitioners and students to share their ideas and innovations while being recognized for their contributions to advancing patient care and independent living.

Tonja Furr Oliphant, OTA/L at Gentiva Home Health, was awarded first place, and $1000, in the Professional category for her Dandy Doris Coat Donning Assist. Oliphant describes her product: “The Donning Assist enables a person with limited or no shoulder range of motion to independently put on a coat (or shirt). It was created for an individual whose goal was to be able to put on her coat and check her mail.” The coat is preloaded onto the assist at an appropriate height for the user, then when the user is ready to put it on, she backs up to the device and is able to position her arms in the sleeves. By pressing down on a foot pedal, the clothing is brought up to her shoulders and she is then able to complete the donning task.

In the Student category, first place and $500 was awarded to Katelynn Wellman and Shannon Masterson, from St. Ambrose University. Wellman and Masterson earned the award for their Left Neglect Environment Detector. The two students describe their product in the Maddak media release: “The Left Neglect Environment Detector is an alarm system that was made for a client with left neglect. When he comes too close to an object on his left side, it makes a beeping noise. The detector begins beeping when items are within a 3-foot radius of the client. This beeping is short and spaced out. The beeping gets longer and closer together at 24 inches, then again at 12 inches.” The product is compacted into a camera case attached to an arm band worn on the client’s upper arm. The purpose of the device is to make the client aware of what is around them and prevent them from running into things and getting injured.

Winners of the People’s Choice Award, $300 worth of OT-inspired products, were the students of the OT Program at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va, for their adaptive dog feeder – Kibbles for Kai. Developed for an individual in a wheelchair, Kibbles for Kai allows her to feed her dog, Kai, more efficiently. The device minimizes the need for her to bend and reach to feed Kai at ground level and allows her to maintain an upright position in her power chair when she scoops dog food into the top funnel of the device.

The winner of the Maddak Intercollegiate Challenge was the University of Central Arkansas in Conway, Ark, with more than 40 entries.

[Source: SP Ableware/Maddak]