Helping Others

September 6, 2017
COURTESY ALEXANDER KNOLL

If you see a problem, you should find a solution. That is what Alex Knoll, 12, from Post Falls, Idaho, thinks. One day, he noticed a man struggling to open a heavy door. The man was in a wheelchair.

“I wondered if there was a resource available to him to show which businesses had automatic doors, so he could actually access them,” Alex told TFK. “I couldn’t find anything, so I created it.”

HE'S AN INVENTOR: After seeing a man in a wheelchair struggling to open a door, Alex Knoll created an app to help people with disabilities.

COURTESY ALEXANDER KNOLL

That was three years ago. The idea is Ability App. Alex’s website says the app will “help people with disabilities and their caregivers navigate public spaces and find safe, reliable services and employment opportunities.”

Talk-show host Ellen DeGeneres likes Alex’s idea. She surprised him with a $25,000 check. “I think it’s really going to help me get going,” Alex says.

Making a Difference

Worldwide, there are more than a billion people with some kind of disability. A disability can make it hard to do everyday activities. It can make it hard to find a job.

Tara Miller is a friend of Alex’s family. She uses a wheelchair. She helps Alex with his app. “If he has questions, I’m there,” she says.

Alex has yet to set a launch date for Ability App. But he is determined to meet his goal. “I’m going to work as hard as I can and as fast as I can,” he says.