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Post Falls 5th grade inventor creates app to help people with disabilities

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Alexander Knoll stayed after school one day recently to have a little chat with educators at the North Idaho STEM Charter Academy in Rathdrum.

“I love helping people and I’m excited to tell you about the app I’m trying to develop called Ability App,” the Post Falls fifth-grader said. “The idea is simple .

“This bright 10-year-old with red hair and freckles is getting good at addressing groups of adults, explaining his big idea and appearing confident and composed.

“The simple-to-use app can be accessed for free on any computer or handheld device .”

Much like Yelp is to eating out, Ability App would give users such details as the locations of wheelchair ramps, accessible boat launches and hiking trails, service animal-friendly locations, and restaurants with Braille menus. It also would contain information on grocery delivery, occupational therapy, transportation and mobility, and disability-friendly job listings, among other services.

Alex even imagined voice-activation and eye-tracking features for users who don’t have use of their limbs. His passion for drawing and design led him to create a clever logo that appears on the app’s Facebook page, website and business cards for the venture. His mother, Anne Knoll, has been at his side, assisting Alex on the computer.

He has had a whirlwind year. Last March, Ability App took best in show at Invent Idaho, a statewide student invention competition. He got to explain his project to Gov. Butch Otter, first lady Lori Otter and state lawmakers at the state Capitol in Boise.

Curated by (Lifekludger)
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