Ability Tech strikes down barriers unveiling new piece of adaptive equipment to help expand bowling to all abilities

Published: Oct. 10, 2022 at 9:19 PM CDT
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Technology continues to change how people live in this modern age, and for those who have more specialized needs, technology can give them the ability to do things they haven’t been able to do in the past.

It originally required the strength of using your arms and legs to throw a bowling ball, but now with a new piece of equipment, one can go bowling with the press of a button.

“Individuals have two options: they can press the button here which will activate it, or they can put in a switch that they have of their own,” said Dustin Rhoades, Owner & Founder of Ability Tech.

Dustin Rhoades, owner of a local company called Ability Tech, has been working on the project since July. The idea stemmed from a survey from the All Abilities Health & Wellness Coalition, which is a part of the Siouxland District Health Department.

“They did a survey on what activities people liked in the community and want to be more accessible, and bowling was one of them,” said Rhoades.

So they got right to work, asking for even more feedback to make sure the new equipment would work just right.

“We did a lot of asking around on Facebook and other bowling groups on Facebook, actually, and found out what a lot of people didn’t like about the current ramps, and a lot of them were wobbly,” said Rhoades.

The goal? To give everyone the chance to come together and experience the joy of bowling.

“I hope it brings them together more, brings more people out, and gets more intermixed. So now, it’s not just these special events for these individuals. They can come out on a regular night or get a good group and then and be out more,” said Rhoades.

“One of the things I’ve really noticed since I’ve been in bowling for 60 years, and that is the smiles that bowling brings to every person that’s out here doing it, regardless of your special needs. You may have a ramp, a hinge, five finger bowling balls, light equipment, guard rails, it’s just fun for everyone. Why not be inclusive to the whole world to have this kind of fun?” said Brian Atchison, Plaza Bowl Owner.

This was all possible with the help of funding from the Siouxland District Health Department through a grant they received from the National Association of County and City Health Officials.

The new piece of equipment will be immediately available for use at Plaza Bowl off Hamilton Boulevard. Rhoades’ goal is to give it six months for individuals to test it out and provide feedback. He hopes to start selling the product within six months to a year.

The new bowling equipment is not the first thing Rhoades has created with Ability Tech. He’s also created the Switch Hitter and Wanna Have A Catch (WHAC) for individuals to use to play baseball.