Thirteen-year-old Girl Invents Apparel for Disabled Individuals
Xu Zhongning, a first-year student at Chongqing Junior High School, received a national patent this year for apparel designed for disabled individuals.
According to the Chongqing Evening News, Xu Zhongning designed this apparel so that her father, who has severe hyperosteogeny, a type of arthritis which commonly affects older people, can easily change clothes without experiencing great pain.
Her design is comprised of a pinstripe fabric with ten zippers and four buttons that can be altered to form long and short sleeve tops, pants, shorts, and even bed sheets. It can be assembled within a minute, and may be easily taken off with the help of an assistant rolling the patient onto his side.
Xu has signed a cooperation agreement with Chongqing Heiniu Apparel Co. Ltd. for her clothing design, which will be on the market next month. For every set of this special clothing design that they sell, Xu Zhongning will receive two to four yuan (US$0.29 to $0.59). Market research reports show that she may be earning millions to tens of millions Chinese yuan (1 million yuan is US$146,325) annually.
At present, Xu Zhongning is the holder of three patents. Her first patent was granted in 2005, when she invented a pair of chopsticks with a recyclable top half made of plastic, aluminum, or steel, and a disposable bottom half made of fast-reproducing bamboo, to reduce the deforestation caused by massive production of one hundred percent disposable chopsticks.