What should you do if you see a problem? Find a solution. That is what Alex Knoll, 12, believes. Alex lives in Post Falls, Idaho. One day, he saw a man struggling to open a heavy door. The man was in a wheelchair.
Alex had a question. Could the man go online to see if a store had automatic doors? That way, the man would know if he could access the store. “I looked it up and I couldn’t find anything,” Alex told TIME for Kids. “So I thought of the idea and I created it.”
A Big Idea
Alex came up with the idea three years ago. He calls it Ability App. Alex has a website about the app. It says the app will help people with disabilities “navigate public spaces.”
Talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres heard about Alex’s idea. She liked it. She had Alex on her show. She surprised him with a $25,000 check. “I think it’s really going to help me get going” with building the app, Alex says.
Hard Work Ahead
Worldwide, there are more than a billion people with some kind of disability. That is according to the World Health Organization. A disability can make it hard for a person to do everyday activities. It can make it hard to find a job. Alex’s app will help people learn about jobs.
Tara Miller is a friend of Alex and his parents. She uses a wheelchair. She helps Alex. She tells him what it is like to live with a disability.
“If he has questions, I’m there to answer anything,” Miller says. It’s little things, like low tables in restaurants, that can make a huge difference for people like her.
Alex is determined to bring Ability App to life. “I’m going to work as hard as I can and as fast as I can,” he says.