Made to empower

Founded by two occupational therapists, AdaptAbility sources and sells assistive devices that provide people with disabilities with more independence

Rolling Inspiration
By Rolling Inspiration
5 Min Read
Occupational therapists Christi Gresse and Semona Diener are the founders of AdaptAbility.

Founded by two occupational therapists, AdaptAbility sources and sells assistive devices that provide people with disabilities with more independence

Occupational therapists Christi Gresse and Semona Diener, co-owners of AdaptAbility, understand the importance of independence and participation in activities that are meaningful to individuals, but also that participation is not always straightforward for everyone.

Working in the field of physical and neurological rehabilitation, they have had the opportunity to work with people from all walks of life with a variety of challenges. These challenges highlighted the desire for people to be active members of society and participate in daily activities as independently as possible while maintaining their dignity and living a life of quality.

Many of them only need a small device or minor change to overcome their obstacles and provide them with the confidence and the means to participate. When thinking about assistive devices, one tends to think big … wheelchair, rollator, or commode. However, there are a variety of smaller items that can be used in everyday activities, whether you have a disability or not.

Some very useful items or devices are available, but not always easy to source. Often, the individual must rely on several suppliers, which comes with a hefty price tag.

AdaptAbility was formed with a dream to make assistive devices accessible to people in their community and country. Christi and Semona are driven by practical, affordable thinking to come up with the just right solutions to their client’s challenges. They source, make, and adapt different products specifically for individual client’s needs.

They make use of local knowledge and skills from people within their community. Their dream is to empower members of their local community (protective workshops, retired community members seeking additional income, family members) to be part of something bigger and to make a change.

Occupational therapy is not just about helping people physically, it is about promoting independence, confidence, and a sense of purpose. Occupational therapists have the unique privilege and opportunity to get close to their clients and to understand (as best they can) with what the client struggles in their daily lives. They have the responsibility to advocate for their clients’ rights and educate the greater community about the challenges faced by people with disabilities.

AdaptAbility looked for solutions to provide hands-free options for people with limited hand use and those making use of mobility aids such as wheelchairs, rollators and canes. Some of the products include gadgets that help with carrying cell phones around the neck or arms, bottles around the waist, and keys to clips.

They also sell standard assistive devices to assist with daily activities such as bottom wipers, suction scoop plates, plate guards, adapted cutlery, and universal cuffs.

Safety is very important to them, and they have solutions for showering and washing, such as long-handled sponges and bath gloves. They promote good body mechanics, by encouraging good posture and limiting bending and twisting, by using long-handled tools such as the easy reach – manufactured by a local supplier.

As their market is mostly adults and older people at this stage, they feel that the devices should not be too visible, easy to apply, and light to carry.

They are constantly developing new tools, as the need arises. They are also in the process of developing information and educational videos for specific diagnoses, such as strokes and dementia, to assist families and caregivers in their roles.

To the owners, AdaptAbility is not just a business. It is a vehicle that can be used to promote, advocate, and educate. It is a way for the silent voices to be heard in a world where ‘different’ isn’t always celebrated or received with open arms. The dream continues to grow daily and they are excited about what the future holds.

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