Ralph Braun Honored Posthumously With daVinci Award

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The 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award was given to Ralph Braun posthumously for his accomplishments as a pioneer of the mobility industry.

Ralph Braun's daughters, Cherie and Melissa, accept the Lifetime Achievement Award in honor of their father

Ralph Braun, founder and CEO of The Braun Corporation, was honored posthumously with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the da Vinci Awards, an international forum recognizing the latest development and research in adaptive and assistive technologies. The awards benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Society’s Michigan Chapter.

“Ralph Braun has left a permanent legacy in the mobility community and is regarded as a true pioneer of an industry that has brought freedom to hundreds of thousands of individuals across the world,” stated the da Vinci Awards in a release.

Ralph’s daughters – Cherie Braun Diaz and Melissa Braun Dennis – were on hand to accept the award during the ceremony, which was held at the Ford Conference and Event Center in Dearborn.

The ceremony also honored Jeremy Campbell, Team US Gold Medalist at the 2012 London Paralympic Games, with a special 2013 Spirit of da Vinci Award in recognition of his accomplishments and ongoing advocacy for those with disabilities. For the year prior to the awards, nominations were accepted from across the country and around the world for innovations in five disability-related fields.

  •     Communication/Educational Aids

AbleGamers – Includification (Harpers Ferry, WV) - The AbleGamers Foundation is an organization that enables children and adults with disabilities to enjoy the world of video games. Includification is a 48-page fully illustrated guide published by AbleGamers on how to design video games for the disability community.

  •     Environmental Adaptation/Daily Living or Work Aids

Ocqueoc Falls Bicentennial Pathway (Presque Isle County, MI) - is a Department of Natural Resources (DNR) forest trail that takes you to the only publicly owned waterfall in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Recent improvements have made this the only universally accessible waterfall in the United States.

  •     Prosthetics/Orthotics/Controls

bebionic3 – A Helping Hand (Leeds, United Kingdom) – is a multi-articulating myo-electric prosthetic hand from RSLSteeper, the UK’s leading upper extremity prosthetic manufacturer. With pioneering technology and innovative design, the bebionic hand has become the world’s most lifelike, affordable, easy-to-use and transformational myo-electric hand available.

  •     Recreation and Leisure

Madonna ICARE by Sports Art (Lincoln, NE) – is a highly functional and affordable, therapeutic, motorized elliptical trainer used in hospitals, fitness facilities and homes to help people of all abilities, even those with very limited mobility, regain or improve their ability to walk and enhance their cardiovascular fitness.

  •     Transportation and Mobility

Caroline’s Cart (Alabaster, AL) - is the first innovative, trademarked and patented special needs shopping cart for older children and adults with special needs, allowing the opportunity to shop in grocery and retailers worldwide with their families or caregivers.

A biomedical engineering graduate student team from the University of Rochester won the Student of da Vinci Award for the MonoMano Cycling Control System. MonoMano enables stroke survivors, upper extremity amputees, and anyone else with the use of a single functional arm to participate in the sport of cycling, offering a fun outlet for recreation and rehabilitation.

Proceeds from the awards benefit the National MS Society’s Michigan Chapter. Michigan has one of the highest incident rates of MS in the U.S., with more than 18,000 residents living with multiple sclerosis.

About MS and the da Vinci Awards

The Michigan Chapter of the National MS Society created the da Vinci Awards® in 2001 to foster innovation and hope by recognizing the latest developments and research in adaptive and assistive technologies, which play an important role in helping people overcome physical limitations.The da Vinci Awards® were named after Leonardo da Vinci because of his documented talents as an inventor, philosopher, engineer, architect and artist. The name itself captures the spirit in which the awards are given.

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Megan Wegner
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