Nathaniel Neville

Document Type


Publication Date



According to the World Health Organization, there are roughly 250,000 to 500,000 people around the world that suffer from spinal cord injury every year. The demographic with the highest risk for this debilitating injury is young adult males, aged 20 to 29. Currently, there is a lack of assistive technologies that do not rely on the user’s grip. Some current technologies use a locking strap that goes around patient’s fist and require assistance of others to be fully put on. The goal of this assistive design project is to provide a client-specific device to assist with independent dressing tasks. The client is a young adult that suffers from an incomplete C5-C7 spinal cord injury who wants more independence with everyday tasks. Additionally, the client’s finger movement is limited to varying levels of extension, with the greatest strength and control in the thumb. This injury drastically limits the client’s independence with everyday tasks, such as pulling up their pants. Our assistive technology solution is the Bear Paw. This device has a silicon mold base that fits around four fingers of the hand. The Bear Paw incorporates a hook mechanism to aid in snagging the pants with an additional grip area in the palm of the Bear Paw. The Bear Paw is customizable to the patient's hands.

Faculty Mentor

Nicole Urban, Ph.D.

Academic Discipline

College of Engineering & Design

Included in

Engineering Commons



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