A Minnesota pioneer in rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology is stepping down. Dianne Goodwin, founder of BlueSky Designs, has announced her retirement after 36 years of work in the field.
Goodwin founded BlueSky in 1997. BlueSky Designs manufactures, distributes and designs movable mounting systems people can move independently. Its goal is to provide flexible and customizable solutions to make it easier for persons with disabilities to do what they want to do.
BlueSky Designs was awarded federal Small Business Innovation Research grants from the National Institutes of Health, National Institute on Disability and rehabilitation research, and the United States Department of Agriculture. She led in development of innovative technology that made it to market, including the independently accessible Mount’n Mover, Pow!r Mount and Freedom tent, which was licensed to Eureka and won the MS Society’s DaVinci Award.
Goodwin has worked in the field of rehab engineering since her graduate school days at the University of Virginia in 1984. Prior to launching BlueSky, she worked as a rehab engineer at Gillette Children’s Hospital and Tamarack Habilitation Technologies. She also worked at AbleNet where she developed the Specs Switch, All-Turn-It Spinner and the one-button TV and VCR remote.
Goodwin has been a Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) member since 1985, was a RESNA-Easter Seal student award winner in 1987 and served on its board and as a special interest group chair in Technology Transfer.
One interesting note about Goodwin and BlueSky’s work is that starting in 2014, the Mount’n Mover she designed played a supporting role on the television show NCIS: New Orleans. The product is mounted to the chair of Special Agent Patton Plame, played by Daryl Mitchell, an actor with paraplegia. The character used the Mount’n Mover to hold his computer keyboard
Peter Loeffler is the new owner and president of BlueSky Designs. He has worked with Goodwin and the team for six years, as a research engineer and project manager. Peter shares Goodwin’s passion for people with disabilities and her belief in the potential for technology to increase their independence and ability to live life fully. With Loeffler at the helm, BlueSky will continue its mission: designing beyond limits.
He holds a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Johns Hopkins University, with a minor in entrepreneurship. While at BlueSky, he has led the technical development of the power mount and auto-positioning and has spearheaded operations improvements.
For more information go to www.mountnmover.com