Inventive OTs Earn Maddak Design Awards

Professional occupational therapists and those still in training got the chance to show off their creativity as part of the 38th annual Maddak Awards Competition for Product Design.

Launched by Maddak Chairman Kurt Landsberger, the contest's goal is "to honor and support the creativity and dedication of occupational therapy practitioners and students who continually look for new ways to enhance the rehabilitation of their clients," according to a news announcement of this year's winners, which coincided with the American Occupational Therapy Association's annual conference.

First place in the professional category went to David Blaski, OTR/L, Medical Devices LLC, for his Aquatic Stabilizer Apparatus - a bilateral lower-extremity aquatic orthotic designed especially for kids with cerebral palsy.

Said Blaski, "The device ensures variable abduction during extension and flexion while swimming, and minimizes adduction, allowing for proper kicking movements...This translates into increased lower-extremity strength that the patient may be able to transfer into other forms of mobility."

The first-place winner in the student category was Robert Pippinger, a graduate student at the University of Central Arkansas who created the Rockin' Scooter, a pediatric two-in-one therapeutic device that functions as a scooter board and a vestibular board.

"The scooter is designed to increase endurance, strength, postural control/stability and motor planning while promoting quality prone extension," Pippinger explained.

For a full list of winners and details of their inventions, visit

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

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