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Bill Janes Receives Lee Henson Access Award

On September 30, to kick off “Celebrate Ability Week,” the MU Disability Center held its annual State of Accessibility address. The event gave an update of the state of accessibility at Mizzou and honored the students, faculty and staff that received Lee Henson Access Awards.

 The Lee Henson Awards honor those who have responded above and beyond to a particular disability, inclusion or accessibility concern or need on campus; championed universal design to make Mizzou a more inclusive place for people with disabilities; and demonstrated and modeled a commitment over time to improving the inclusion of people with disabilities or the accessibility of Mizzou’s campus and programs.

Occupational Therapy Assistant Research Professor Dr. Bill Janes is one of four 2019 Lee Henson Access Award recipients. Janes has been an MU OT faculty member since 2016 as an Assistant Research Professor and Academic Fieldwork Coordinator. He received this award for his notable work with people with disabilities and teaching students the same.

Janes developed a 3-D printing lab in the OT department with the purpose of creating adaptive equipment for people with disabilities and more specifically with ALS patients. Items he’s created include adapted fingernail clippers, curling irons, can openers, head scratchers, utensil holders and more! Janes said if assistive technology is “one size fits all, then it’s not perfect for anyone.” The 3-D printer allows for complete customization and therefore a perfect fit.

Bill Janes demonstrates the 3-D printer.
Bill Janes demonstrates how the 3-D printer creates custom-fitted Assistive Technology.

In addition to 3-D printing, Dr. Janes leads Go Baby Go! This program is a collaborative effort between engineering, speech therapy, physical therapy and art students that modifies toy ride-on cars to provide power mobility on an individualized basis for children under three.

These are just a few of the notable efforts Dr. Janes has championed to help improve the inclusion of people with disabilities, and to aid in accessibility. Congratulations Dr. Janes!