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Meet Jose - A Visionary Artist

Jose is an artist. He has painted and sketched beautifully since he was very young. As a little boy, Jose would draw for hours in his Yonkers apartment where he lives with his mother. Over time, he learned to control pencils, paintbrushes, and markers, creating vibrant and original art. Now in his teens, Jose has expanded his practice by embellishing wrestling action figures with very small paintbrushes…you know a Jose inspired action figure when you see one!

Jose’s hands require strength and well-developed muscles to give him the artistic results he demands. He understands what is needed from his body and turned to ADA when he developed a degenerative condition, compromising the fine muscle coordination in his hands. “Jose’s Genetic Counselor contacted us when it became obvious that sketching and painting were getting difficult”, said Adam El-Sawaf, Senior Designer at ADA. “The amazing thing about Jose is that he was able to explain exactly what was going on with his hands and the type of assistive device that he thought would work best for him. I took his ideas and created prototypes of devices that would support his forearms and hands so that he could control the art mediums that he likes to work with.”

Adam worked with Jose until the prototypes were just right, then hand-carved custom devices with hard styrofoam. “This project was especially personal to me because I was a young artist too,” said Adam. “ I thought long and hard about what would best suit Jose presently, and also created adaptive devices that will fit as his hands grow over time.” Jose is back to drawing and painting with help from the assistive devices. His focus and commitment to art is simply unstoppable.

ADA is the only place Jose could turn to for custom designed equipment to help him better control his hands. We are dedicated to removing barriers and helping individuals on their creative journey. We can only accomplish this much-needed work with your help. We would be delighted if you could join our community with a year-end gift and help others like Jose stay focused and unimpeded with their dreams and life goals.


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