Virginia Governor recognizes USAofVA member, Joshua Smith, with STEM Catalyst Award

Josh Smith is the founder of Handizap and a 2013 Mechanical Engineering graduate from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. In August 2014, while visiting Virginia Beach, Josh dove into a wave and struck a sandbar, causing a burst fracture of his C-5 vertebrate – resulting in him becoming a C-6 quadriplegic. While in physical rehabilitation, Josh was given assistive technology to help him use his electronic devices; however, these devices required continued assistance to use. As a solution to this problem, Josh developed a ring stylus that could be worn on the pinky finger, named the 6th Digit.

In March 2015, Josh and friend Jared Rhodes founded Handizap via a Kickstarter campaign to manufacture the Sixth Digit and develop assistive technologies. Since the initial shipment in September, the Sixth Digit has been delivered to Kickstarter supporters, rehabilitation facilities, businesses, and individuals across 22 states and eight countries worldwide.

On February 5, 2016 Governor Terry McAuliffe released a statement honoring Josh and others, which reads in part,“The innovations and discoveries by these outstanding individuals and companies are essential to our work as we build a new Virginia economy,” said Governor McAuliffe. “As we continue the tradition of honoring professionals and businesses that make significant contributions to science, it is fitting that we also recognize students and individual citizens who are using STEM to make Virginia a better place.”

– Read more about Josh’s recognition Here!

-To learn more about Josh’s invention and/or purchase your own, click Here!

-New Mobility Magazine’s feature article on the 6th Digit.