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Ovation: Paralyzed Austin Whitney Walks Across Graduation Stage.


Walking across a stage in a graduation ceremony is a right of passage for most Americans.  But, students in wheelchairs can only imagine what it feels like.  Recently, UC Berkeley graduating senior Austin Whitney took seven steps to receive his diploma with the help of an amazing robotic frame.   To accompliash the feat, Whitney, who has been paralyzed from the waist down as a result of a car accident in 2007, used a device that was designed by a Berkeley professor and a team of graduate students.

The history and political science major was the first human test pilot for this device that the research team named after him.  Robotic devices like this one can cast $100,000 or more so the team continues to work to make this model more affordable.

Whitney, who had been drinking when he crashed his car into a tree and severed his spinal cord, gives motivational talks about the dangers of drinking and driving.  His website contains many examples of his inspirational and preventative speaking engagements.  He wants as many people as possible to learn from his accident.

I think this is pretty darned inspirational.

UPDATE: Austin Whitney has been accepted to UC Berkeley Law School for admission in Fall 2012!

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From → Ovations

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