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Hands-free shoes for people with disabilities

Alex Kaufman, 21, was diagnosed with scoliosis when he was 13. His father, Steve Kaufman, 51, a robotics engineer, created hands-free shoes to help his son.

To prevent the curve from worsening, Alex had to brace a large, tight torso — hips to armpits — 22 hours a day. “Among the many unintended discomforts and inconveniences of carrying this treatment was that Alex couldn't stoop to put on his shoes. That's when his father stepped in.

These hands-free shoes, called Quikiks ™, are easy to put on and wear. The patented Step-in-Go ™ hands-free shoe system is embedded in every pair of Quikiks ™. The back of the Quikiks ™ tilts back on a hinge so you can easily slip your foot right in. A small squeeze on the heel closes the shoe behind the ankle and it snaps into place with a magnet. To remove you just hit the back of the sole on a hard surface and the momentum of your foot pops it open by sliding your foot right out.

Each pair of Quikiks ™ comes with a series of medium-strength attaching magnets. Weaker and stronger magnets are also available upon request and are easily swapped out so that the holding force can be adjusted to your skills. A spring in the hinge holds the shoes in the open position so they are ready to receive the foot the next time you want to put them on.

There are no batteries or electronics included in Quikiks ™. The Step-in-Go ™ system is a simple, robust mechanism that we hope will improve the quality of the life cycle for users in the years to come.

Steve was at a loss about shoe making. “I didn't know anything about shoe making. I just had a vision of how it could be possible. Stepping into the shoe turns the“ swing ”securing the shoe over the bridge of the user's foot ... But this version had many questions, so That a new method was being considered. After making and testing many, many more prototypes, and getting a lot of help from committed professionals who, along with me, really believe these shoes can add the quality-of-life to so many people to improve, they were finally done ".

According to the inventor, these shoes can help a lot of people with different disabilities. Chronic back pain sufferers, after stroke victims, those with cerebral palsy and autism, people with obesity and severe arthritis, hand struggles and arm amputees and would be tortured even the temporarily needy-say people who have had an accident or one in rehab Hip Replacement Surgery ".

In the seven years since he started working on these shoes Steve has received so many awards including one for innovation at the 2015 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Alex sometimes helps his father at conferences where the response has been phenomenal. "I've met so many people together the way the woman-with dizziness who told me she faints almost every time she bends over to put her shoes on, or the mother of a boy with autism who." Broke himself crying in my craft show booth told me that she struggles every morning because her son wants to put his shoes on by himself and gets frustrated when he can't. "

In addition to making life easier for people through his products, Steve is helping through his business model. As a board member for an agency called Services for the Developmental Disabled (SDC) in Riverdale, NY, Steve has seen firsthand how difficult it can be to find employment opportunities for people with disabilities. "My goal is to build a Quikiks distribution center in New York City that will provide long-term sustainable employment for people with disabilities."

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