Q’STRAINT Inclusion Swing-Set Renovation Project
Helping All Bright Horizon Students Regain Their Fun
Every year Q’STRAINT invites its employees to visit and tour Bright Horizons, a public school for students with special needs. Last year’s tour took an unexpected twist when the Q’STRAINT visitors were caught off guard after seeing that the school’s popular wheelchair inclusion swing set was encircled with yellow cautionary tape.
When it was confirmed that the swing set was out-of-service, it became apparent to the Q’STRAINT team that something had to be done to rectify the situation and fast. Upon return to the office, they responded immediately by assembling a team of volunteers to rebuild the inclusion swing set.
Cut to November 2019, when Q’STRAINT delivered a beautiful, shiny, perfectly repaired wheelchair inclusion swing set to the school. The group of volunteers, comprised of engineers from various departments, had spent several hot summer months rebuilding – virtually from scratch – the popular play structure.
“This whole project was touching for me and turned out to be one of the best moments of my life.”
Jorge Torres, Q’STRAINT Engineer Technician
“If I had the opportunity, I would do this project all over again,” said Ed Cardona, senior product innovation engineer. “It’s a great feeling knowing that you were part of something that made a difference in the lives of these kids.”
The inclusion swing set rebuild was by no means a simple project. The team had to take the swing set completely apart, fix the broken parts, send it to a sandblaster and then powder coater, reassemble it, send it out again to a painter and transport it back to Bright Horizons. When Q’STRAINT presented the finished product to Bright Horizons, the shiny green swing set looked as if it was brand new.
What is a Wheelchair Inclusion Swing Set?
A wheelchair inclusion swing set is designed to allow both ambulatory and mobility device users to swing together safely while facing each other. The Bright Horizon’s swing set has become an entertaining and therapeutic way for all the students to interact with each other.
Project Close to Home for One Q’STRAINT Engineer
Jorge Torres, a Q’STRAINT engineer technician, played a leading role in resuscitating the inclusion swing set. This project was extremely rewarding and near and dear for him since his daughter has Autism.
“This whole project was touching for me and turned out to be one of the best moments of my life,” said Jorge, who is quite familiar with how these kids are feeling and dealing with their condition from a personal standpoint. “I can’t tell you how happy I was to be part of this project.”
The whole rebuild took several months to complete and required Q’STRAINT employees to work after hours and on weekends. But if Q’STRAINT had not embarked on this project, it would have been cost-prohibitive for the school to repair it themselves.
“When we found out about the project, we asked our team if this was something they wanted to pursue and their answers were a resounding yes,” said Ovidius Turcanu. Q’STRAINT Research and Development manager. “It was an easy decision for us, especially since we already work for a company where we truly care about our customers and our products significantly enhance their quality of life.”
Q’STRAINT Long-Time Bright Horizon Community Partner
Q’STRAINT is a long-time community partner with Bright Horizons. For many years Bright Horizon’s students have participated in a Q’STRAINT apprentice program where they learn vocational skills by actually working on projects, like sorting different pieces of wheelchair securement equipment, packaging them into bags, and then labeling them. The program plays a vital role in their students’ development. “It all started about nine years ago when Bright Horizons approached Q’STRAINT and asked the company if they were able to provide any work to help our students build their vocational skills,” said Angela Portal, Bright Horizon’s Autism Coach.
“And boy they did!!! Years later our students are still provided with an opportunity to learn various skills through the work that Q’STRAINT entrusts us with.“Q’STRAINT goes above and beyond their financial contributions,” added Portal. “They come to look into our students’ eyes, put gifts in their hands, and personally see the smiles they bring to their faces at their annually sponsored Christmas Party.”
Bright Horizons attended Q’NECT, a Q’STRAINT quarterly meeting, where they thanked the whole company for all they do to assist in the personal development of their students. At the meeting, they announced that the new inclusion swing set would be available for the students to once again enjoy at the start of 2020.
Whether it’s manufacturing wheelchair securement equipment or rebuilding playground accessibility equipment, Q’STRAINT’s mission has always been to produce products making safety accessible for the lives of mobility device users.
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