NEW YORK Dr. Max Gomez Health reporter for the CBS New York news affiliate (http://newyork.cbslocal.com/tag/dr-max-gomez/) obtained the exclusive story of the toddler cane. The first wearable white cane for toddlers who are severely visually impaired and blind. Dr. Gomez traveled to Brooklyn to interview key players of the Hunter College, City University and Safe Toddles team. Dr. Grace Ambrose-Zaken, Karen Dunlap and her daughter Léa who is three and has cortical visual impairment (CVI), and Mohamad FallahRad, City College engineering graduate student who worked closely with Biomedical Engineering Professor and co-Founder Marom Bikson to translate Ambrose's homemade device into the current functioning toddler cane prototype.
The interview took place in Karen's home in Brooklyn. Dr. Gomez and Léa became fast friends, as he succeeded in obtaining genuine giggles of delight, something I had never heard before.
Photos courtesy Benny Zaken
It was Safe Toddles' first television press ever, said Hunter College professor/Founder and CEO of Safe Toddles Dr. Grace Ambrose-Zaken. Dr. Gomez was so wonderful, he really helped me relax as I attempted to explain the need for toddler canes.
Dr. Max Gomez is a well-known neurosurgeon who well understood Lea's CVI, a brain-based visual impairment. Karen explained, it is important to help others to understand that even though her daughter might "look sighted", her visual impairment is significant. Her eyes are perfectly beautiful blue, but due to a stroke just after birth, her brain has difficulty interpreting and comprehending the signals sent from her eyes.
Léa demonstrated using the toddler cane outside on her sidewalk. It is hard to know how much it is helping, unless you see her without it, Karen remarked. Without it, Léa bends over to see the ground, which really affects her balance. When wearing the toddler cane she walks upright-like everybody else.
Dr. Max Gomez said the toddler cane segment may air as early as next week. Stay tuned!!