Where to begin…
We are excited to see the emergence of GoBabyGo ride-on car programs across the nation and around the world. Although modifying ride-on cars for children with disabilities is the program’s primary goal, so too is giving individuals and organizations the tools to build ride-on cars for children in their communities. A basic premise of the ride-on car project is to modify cars in ways that reflect the particular needs of each child and the local contexts in which he/she will use them. The individuals in the best position to understand such needs and contexts are those who know and live close to the children whom they want to help. Moreover, the GoBabyGo program at the University of Delaware does not have the resources to build cars for all the children around the world who need them. Thus, getting cars to as many children as possible requires participation from parents, therapists, organizations, and other folks like you!
In order to help and/or inspire others to start GoBabyGo programs in their communities, we put together this short “how-to” guide. Given that every local program will have its own particular structure and goals, however, the steps listed are meant to be guidelines as opposed to set rules. We encourage each program to develop a system that works for it. As you can see, starting a program is not a complicated process. With enough determination and help from others, you can do it! Also, don’t hesitate to ask us (firstname.lastname@example.org) and/or the contact persons for other local programs (see the list of local contacts) if you have questions about the start-up process. Thank you for helping children in your communities get moving!
- Identify a contact person to organize and facilitate communication in the area (if you’re reading this, this could be you!).
- Reach out to local pediatric clinics and identify people who are interested in participating in some capacity.
- Reach out to people with qualified electrical or engineering experience who can help with the modification of ride-on cars. Anyone can do it, but you’ll want to make sure someone with the necessary expertise can check off each car as safe.
- Hold a first meeting with everyone interested to organize initial thoughts and plans.
- Find the first family that could benefit from a modified ride-on car.
- Hold a build session and modify at least one car (this will require the ordering supplies, finding tools, and locating a space to use).
- Present the family with car (or even better, involve them in the build session).
- What next? There are many ways to keep the efforts going:
- Monthly meetings
- Once the word is out that you are ready to modify cars for local families, you will likely need to organize a monthly or bi-monthly build to help get cars to families and children. This requires communication with interested families and the organization of build sessions.
- There are many other types of groups that could be involved to help with the effort (e.g., Boy/Girl scouts, high school students, college students).
- Document your progress about what does/does not work when it comes to starting and running your local program. We are happy to share with others your experiences to help them start their program.
- Share with us—especially on the UD GoBabyGo Facebook page— photos/videos of your ride-on cars. Such photos/videos could include completed cars, children driving their cars, and how-to videos of the modification process.
- Start a Facebook page for your local program. This will allow you to build a local network of families, therapists, and community organizations. It will also allow you to stay connected to the growing number of other local GBG programs around the world.Have fun, and please keep us posted about your start-up efforts. We would love to add you to our growing list of contacts for local GoBabyGo! programs around the world.