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    2012 GRAPHISOFT Freedom by Design Grant Awarded to AIAS Illinois Institute of Technology Lissette Project

    GRAPHISOFT® and the American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) proudly announce the selection of the 2012 GRAPHISOFT AIAS Freedom by Design Grant recipient. This year, GRAPHISOFT and the AIAS partnered to award $1,500 to one AIAS chapter for an upcoming AIAS Freedom by Design project. The 2012 Grant recipient is the AIAS Illinois Institute of Technology for their Lissette Project.

    The Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) AIAS Chapter submission details a plan to renovate a bathroom for the needs of a person with a disability.  It has been named the Lissette Project, after 13 year-old Lissette Loera, a teenager who was born with Spina Bifida. Spina Bifida is a congenital disorder that causes permanent physical complications and has no known cure.

    IIT Chapter students will introduce design changes to ensure Lissette has the freedom to provide self-care independently. For example, the bathroom doorway will be expanded to accommodate an adult-sized wheelchair. The tub will be replaced with an ADA-accessible shower so Lissette can wheel herself into the shower without assistance. The designers also hope to add handlebars for the toilet, increase storage space for Lissette and her family, and include an exhaust fan.

    The Chapter aims to complete the Lissette Project by the end of January 2013. The estimated total cost is $2,500. While the GRAPHISOFT grant provides more than half of the necessary funds, the IIT Chapter still needs additional funding.  To date, the IIT Chapter has raised funds through bake sales, donation boxes, and soliciting material donations. To make a donation today and to learn more about Lissette, visit