Today a lot is being talked about the need of integrating people with disabilities into society. In this regard, our compatriot Emik Avakian has had a great contribution. He is the inventor of the computer control by breathing, as well as of the system that makes it easier to put the wheelchair into the car. However, Emik Avakian’s greatest invention is the automatic wheelchair.
His contribution to the integration of people with disabilities into society has been so outstanding, that in 1961 Avakian was awarded by President Kennedy for “the most outstanding contribution for the benefit of persons with disabilities”, armeniangc.com reports. Avakian has also received an award from the Armenian Bicentennial Committee “Award for Best Practices in Science” (1976), and the Royal Medal from the Shah of Iran (1963). In 1996, Eureka College also awarded him with the “Honorary Doctor Award”.
Generally, Avakian is a role model in terms of persistence. Emik was born in Tabriz (Iran) in 1924. From birth, he was suffering from cerebral palsy and for getting medical help for Emik, his family moved from Iran to Russia, then to Germany, and finally settled in New York.
Despite his illness, Emik showed persistence and perseverance, he graduated with honors from college with a degree in physics and mathematics. Later, he got a degree in the same discipline at Columbia University in New York and began to patent many inventions that helped people with disabilities to become more self-sufficient.
Emik Avakian died in 2013 in Massachusetts, USA.