ALABASTER, Ala. — Caroline’s Cart, a shopping cart that can carry special-needs children and adults, has won the 2013 International da Vinci Award in the transportation and mobility category.
Created by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society’s Michigan Chapter, the da Vinci Awards recognize the latest developments and research in adaptive and assistive technologies that enable equal access and opportunity for all people, regardless of ability. The awards were announced earlier this month at the Ford Conference and Event Center in Dearborn, Mich.
Caroline’s Cart was developed by Drew Ann Long, a homemaker here whose daughter Caroline, age 12, has Rett syndrome, a severe neurodevelopment disorder. The cart allows Long to go food shopping with Caroline, something she had been unable to do.
Introduced last fall, Caroline’s Cart is now available at food retailers in at least 17 states, including stores operated by Kroger, Hy-Vee, Giant Eagle, United Supermarkets and Reasor’s.
Long has marketed the cart largely through Facebook (Facebook.com/CarolinesCart) and word of mouth. She recently announced reaching an agreement with the shopping cart manufacturer Technibilt, Newton, N.C., to manufacture and distribute Caroline’s Cart worldwide.
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