"My daughter has Down syndrome and it opened my eyes to a whole new world," says Maria Dellapina, creator of Specs4Us, which stands for Superior Precision Eyewear for Children who are Special. An optician by trade, the single mother of four launched the company in 2004 to make eyeglasses that address the unique physical needs of individuals with Down syndrome and any others with low nasal bridges. "Being a mother is a big driving force," Dellapina says about the inspiration for Specs4Us.

Maria Dellapina

Since its inception in 2012, Toyota has cultivated the Toyota Mothers of Invention program by not only awarding more than $1 million to these women-led companies with Driving Solutions grants, but also facilitating networking opportunities, building relevant connections, and providing access to intellectual capital to help their organizations go places. These women, who are leading the charge to work on issues like homelessness, education, food, water, energy, and more, come from all over the world, and are using innovation to create lasting and sustainable impact.

To learn more about Toyota’s Mothers of Invention, please click here.

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