Lincoln Developmental Center Art Project

Janine Brouwer, MSPT | May 2014

For a few weeks in February and March of this year the students at Lincoln Developmental Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan donned paint shirts and participated in a school-wide art project. Using Rifton chairs, Pacers, or Mobile Standers, they gathered around large canvases to create paintings of figures very much like themselves - moving about and exploring their world with the help of their adaptive equipment. The paintings were modeled after the 1980’s work of artist Keith Haring featuring colorful figures in high-action poses. The students chose bright colors and used adapted brushes to apply paint to the canvases. The adjustability of their Rifton equipment allowed them to sit or stand close to the table surface in an upright position. This enabled them to use their paintbrushes with as little assistance as possible. Be sure to check out the gallery of pictures below to see the painting in action.

After our students applied the bright colors, our art teacher took the canvases to another school in our district where other students furnished the finishing touches by painting black outlines around the figures. There are plans for these canvases to be hung in various places in our school district and city. We are pleased to show our community how our students can engage in their world with the help of their special equipment.

A student with special needs using an adaptive gait trainer smiles big as he paints red and blue on a piece of paper with the assistance of his teacher. A girl with special needs uses adaptive painting equipment and a gait trainer to paint yellow onto a sheet of paper with the assistance of her teacher.
A group of students with special needs using adaptive equipment around a table paint colorful figures with the help fo their therapist and teacher. A painting done by students with special needs at the Lincoln Developmental Center.
A child with disabilities in a Dynamic stander holds out her adaptive paint brush and smiles at the camera. A boy with special needs smiles sitting in an activity chair as he holds an adaptive paint brush coloring yellow on the paper.
Lincoln Developmental Center adpative paintings. A young child with disabilities in an adaptive stander gets assistance from her teacher to paint a figure in blue on the paper.
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