Veterans Research Lab Focuses on Creating Special Devices for Disabled Veterans | Littman Krooks, LLP
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Veterans Research Lab Focuses on Creating Special Devices for Disabled Veterans

September 19th, 2011

People with disabilities have some new, powerful devices to make daily living easier. The Human Engineering Research Laboratories (HERL) is a part of the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and has created robotic arms, better wheelchairs, and other mobility devices. Their Personal Mobility and Manipulation Appliance helps wheelchair users read a magazine, use a vending machine, and accomplish many other daily tasks. Their Strongarm device can be mounted to a power wheelchair and is able to lift up to 250 pounds. This can be extremely helpful when moving the disabled person from the wheelchair to a couch, and opening things such as doors and microwaves.

HERL has also designed a better wheelchair for people with special needs who participate in sports and recreation activities. Their field games throwing chair for the discus, shotput, and javelin has a better base and stability for these activities. These wheelchairs have been tested at big competitions and accommodate different abilities and body types.

“We try to address the clear and real needs of Veterans now and in the future,” said HERL director Rory Cooper, who is also a longtime National Veterans Wheelchair Games athlete. “One of the unique things about HERL is that we’ve been able to respond to the needs of Vietnam and World War II Veterans as they age, as well as OEF/OIF Veterans.”

HERL is dedicated to research and advanced engineering to improve the lives of people with disabilities. They strive to create devices that are reliable, safe, and help people have the most independence.

New York special needs law firm Littman Krooks LLP helps disabled veterans and people with special needs get access to specialized wheelchairs and government benefits. Our New York City, White Plains or Fishkill Special Needs attorneys have substantial experience in comprehensive estate planning, special needs trusts, and long-term asset preservation for people with disabilities. To learn more about our New York special needs planning services, visit

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