Assistive Technology at the White House

April 14, 2016

Dr. Therese Willkomm Demonstrates Obama-Lean

Dr. Therese Willkomm Demonstrates Obama-Lean

Dr. Therese’ Willkomm’s work transforming old campaign signs into assistive technology solutions caught the attention of some of the signs’ former owners. Using the corrugated plastic from the campaign signs, Dr. Willkomm can create I-Leans--portable, collapsible devices for leaning or holding a book, tablet, or other materials in an upright position.

Earlier this year, the White House heard about Dr. Willkomm’s work and requested a few custom samples. President Obama received his very own “Obama -Lean.” Two more staff members --Maria Town, Associate Director for the White House Office of Public Engagement; and John Wren, Deputy Administrator, Center for Integrated Programs, at the Administration for Community Living--received samples as well.

The Obama-Lean and variations of it are useful tools for individuals who experience low vision, communication, and physical impairments. . They are just one of over 101 assistive technology solutions made from corrugated plastics that Dr. Willkomm has invented. This year UNH Occupational Therapy students created over 50 solutions made from corrugated plastic to give to individuals with disabilities throughout New Hampshire.

You can learn more about the Obama-Lean and other devices that OT students are making with corrugated plastic from recycled election signs here.

View a copy of the letter from President Obama