Chattanooga inventor uses innovative ideas to help improve lives of people with disabilities
A Chattanooga problem solver is creating a more independent way of life for people with disabilities. Ezra Reynolds and his co-workers use 3D printers and workshops for the visually impaired and collaborate with medical professionals for their work at Signal Centers.
Ezra Reynolds and his team at Signal Centers create ways to improve the quality of life for people living with disabilities. They provide this service at a low cost.
Ezra Reynolds has been working with Signal Centers for 10 years. It's an organization focused on providing lifelong independence for families.
Reynolds has developed over 200 inventions for people of all ages and all disabilities.
“Various sources of inspiration are sometimes from the movies, sometimes from wandering through the hardware stores, in playing with ideas,” said Ezra Reynolds, Assistive Technology Design Specialist.
One of Reynolds most prized designs is a device used to help a woman open her microwave.
“That [the device] can be screwed into the countertop, then she could push it with her hand and it will keep the door open,” said Reynolds.
The passion to help others extends beyond his professional life.
Erza and his wife, who is a special education teacher, have adopted four children with disabilities.
“We felt that between our skills we would have the tools we needed to improve his life,” said Reynolds.
One of their children, Andrew, was born with congenital amputation of his hands and feet.
Reynolds created a few different inventions for Andrew.
“An adaptive spoon so that he can feed himself and that was when he was three. He has now learned to use regular utensils and actually balances them on the end of his elbow,” said Reynolds.
Reynolds says not all of these designs are just for medical purposes.
He says they can bring joy into their lives as well.
“Hobbies that's a quality of life thing that allows people to have seasoning and flavor in their life that they wouldn't otherwise have,” said Reynolds.
Reynolds first developed a passion for helping those living with disabilities as a freshman engineering student at UTC.