PLANO, Texas (March 5, 2020) — Lexus and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation (CPF) have joined forces to create a one-of-a-kind ride-on vehicle inspired by children with cerebral palsy. The collaboration combines Lexus’ human-centric design philosophy with CPF’s mission of improving the lives of people with cerebral palsy and opening up the world of possibilities.
“People with cerebral palsy rarely get the interventions and support they need at the moments they need them,” said Rachel Byrne, CPF executive director. “Our mission is to shift that paradigm and be a catalyst for creating positive change through innovative collaborations and partnerships.”
For children with cerebral palsy, one of the greatest challenges is being able to participate in their environment and play as other children do.
“At Lexus, our core design philosophy has always been human-centric,” said Cooper Ericksen, Lexus group vice president, product planning & strategy. “We create vehicles around the art and science of human needs. In this case, we wanted to push the envelope and explore what that might mean for a child with cerebral palsy who hasn’t been able to experience the joy of mobility like other children have.”
The ride-on vehicle was revealed to its recipient, Finley Smallwood, in March – a month also designated as National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month. Together, Lexus and the Cerebral Palsy Foundation identified specific mobility challenges faced by children with cerebral palsy, and Finley in particular.
Because it can be difficult for Finley to sit for long periods of time, modifications were first made to the seat, adding side padding for lateral support around her waist along with an adjustable headrest and a five-point harness. Her customized ride-on car also includes increased door size and reduced ground clearance to allow for ease of entry and exit.
Many children with cerebral palsy don’t have the strength to be able to hold and turn a steering wheel consistently for a given period of time, and mobility challenges can make using a foot pedal impossible. Adding something as simple as an armrest joystick allows Finley the ability to control the direction and acceleration of the vehicle without the need for foot pedals or holding a steering wheel for an extended period of time — giving her the freedom to drive just like any other child.
“Oh, and we painted the body of the car purple,” noted Ericksen. “Because that’s Finley’s favorite color.”
“While these modifications will impact the life of one special child,” Ericksen added, “it’s also a step in opening a door for exploring the vast possibilities of human-centric design.”
The partnership is powered by Givewith. For more information and to watch Finley’s journey unfold, visit: https://givewith.com/lexus-cp.
Lexus’ passion for brave design, imaginative technology, and exhilarating performance enables the luxury lifestyle brand to create amazing experiences for its customers. Lexus began its journey in 1989 with two luxury sedans and a commitment to pursue perfection. Since then, Lexus has developed its lineup to meet the needs of global luxury customers in more than 90 countries. In the United States, Lexus vehicles are sold through 242 dealers offering a full lineup of luxury vehicles. With six models incorporating Lexus Hybrid Drive, Lexus is the luxury hybrid leader. Lexus also offers eight F SPORT models and two F performance models. Lexus is committed to being a visionary brand that anticipates the future for luxury customers.
About Cerebral Palsy Foundation
The Cerebral Palsy Foundation (CPF), a sixty-year old nonprofit foundation headquartered in New York City and a leading voice in the world of Cerebral Palsy, serves as a thought-leader and catalyst to create new opportunities in the world of disability. The Foundation focuses on improving the lives of people with Cerebral Palsy today through research, innovation and collaboration. Its deep partnerships with medical institutions, corporations and media companies support the efforts to inform, connect, and empower people with CP and their families. To learn more visit www.yourcpf.org.
Givewith is a social impact technology company that brings together companies and nonprofits through innovative solutions to generate new funding for effective social impact initiatives and unprecedented value for businesses by driving sales, profits, and share prices. By leveraging the power of everyday business transactions, Givewith generates new sources of funding for the world’s most effective nonprofits, and precisely measures the outcomes of the funding to help companies translate social impact opportunities into key business KPIs. To learn more about Givewith, visit www.givewith.com.