Maddak Presents Product Design Award Winners

For the 39th year, Maddak has lauded winners of a competition created to highlight products designed by occupational therapists and occupational therapy students.

Per tradition, the award winners were announced during the American Occupational Therapy Association's (AOTA) national conference, which took place this year in San Diego in April.

Winners in professional and student categories were chosen by a panel from the San Diego Local Conference Committee, Maddak said in a news announcement, and conference attendees also voted for a People's Choice winner.

The first-place award in the professional category went to the Sling Trap Softball Glove, designed by Jon Turnquist, OTR/L, MOL, ATP, director of the assistive technology lab at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.

"The sling uses the force of the ball's inertia to pull together the sides of the glove to assist in closing the glove and in doing so, reduces the rebound of the softball out of the glove," Turnquist explained. He added that the inspiration for the glove was a young woman with cerebral palsy who was unable to close her standard glove in time to prevent the ball from falling out.

The winner of the student category was a game called Facebooking, created by a student group at Bay Path College in Longmeadow, Mass. The board game seeks to teach social skills needed to successfully and safely use Facebook.

The People's Choice award went to Justin Taneoka, an occupational therapy student at Samuel Merritt University in Bethesda, Md. Taneoka's Wheelchair Battery Thumb Lever Lock was designed to make it easier to remove a wheelchair battery. "Originally, removal of the battery required that the user use one hand to simultaneously depress a thumb lever located on the battery while pulling up on the battery handle," Taneoka said. "The Wheelchair Battery Thumb Lever Lock separates the simultaneous actions into two independent tasks." Maddak said the device locks the thumb lever into the depressed position so the user can concentrate on pulling up on the battery handle.

For the complete list of award winners for 2013, click HERE.

Maddak's chairman, Kurt Landsberger, created the awards program, which he has said "provides 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."

About the Author

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

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