At last designers are realising disability issues are mainstream and the ‘New Green’ i.e. the right thing to do. Here are some new designs that we think are really exceptional:

1st A project from designers Preistman Goode (we featured them before with the portable aircraft disability seat), The Scooter for Life produced as a concept to make a mobility scooter more attractive. It can be seen in reality at the Design Museum, New Old Exhibition which also has other innovative technology designed for the elderly. The scooter looks really cool and is meant to take you through all your mobility requirements from young to old. The shopping bag on the front is useful and for restricted mobility you can stand on it with two feet and it will only move when the brakes are released.

2nd Liftware’s Stabilising Handles for those of us with tremors or just weak hands. The spoon or fork attachments have ‘advanced sensors, motors, and an onboard computer work to actively detect and counteract your tremor’.

These are available but only shipping to the US and the starter kit is $195. They do the job, look good and have used good design in producing a disability aid (contradiction in terms usually). They also have a new ‘Level’ product that tilts a utensil at any angle to aid ‘limited hand and arm mobility’ that follows a stroke etc.

3rd Is a runner up in a James Dyson award, The Walker Innovation,  a re- designed sit to stand walker. Only a prototype but much better than the grey NHS walkers!

ala walker http://www.jamesdysonaward.org/projects/ala/

 

We certainly hope that these ideas become available and that manufacturers and businesses alike realise we’re the ‘New Green’ worth $4Trillion globally..

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  1. Judith

    I saw the Scooter for Life in the Design Centre Exhibition. In my opinion it is very large and unwieldy. To be fair to it you could not move it or use it as it was sat there on display. The front bag is deep, you would need to be able to bend easily to put shopping in or out. As the bag is large I Think it might be easy to overload it and so unbalance the scooter. The front width was, in my estimation , wider than an average dining chair. I cannot imagine how you would get round shops using one of these and taking the scooter width together with the prospect of an elderly person actually scooting along I cannot imagine 2 passing on an average pavement. I would foresee a lot of manhandling of it up and down kerbs and as for cornering the front wheels are set so it’s not easy to corner. If you want to lift up the wheels again it involves a lot of manual dexterity.
    A number of visitors also looked at it and shook their heads. Personally I found it an idea that really is for people with more dexterity or suppleness and if you have that then an ordinary shopping trolley and walking is going to be easier and of more health benefit to you. If you want to scoot and are able to do so then a light weight aluminium one is going to be much better for you. If you cannot walk well and need a mobility scooter then this Scooter for Life would need a seat, electrics etc and really there are similar models on the market.
    As to the exhibition. It was interesting to see but a lot of suggestions or ideas were large and would require large living accommodation to install them.There was a display about making a device to fasten buttons that produced a “new” device identical to one I already have! A one piece body suit to protect you that I don’t think many fit older people would be able to get on ( or off to visit the loo) and certainly a disabled person would not manage it.
    Sadly I was disappointed by the exhibition, I just wondered how much discussion with older people had been had i.e. A walkway out of mesh steel , supposed to give a textural variety, that stick ends went through?
    I and another disabled visitor tried to have a discussion as you are invited to but we were dismissed and our comments were not noted down as others were. The volunteers were more interested to talk to the younger visitors. To cap it all the disabled loo signage at the Design Museum was rubbish. Only 1 was working and there were signs to others that were just not disabled loos and even complaining no one was interested. But there are lifts!
    If you can get to it it is on until 19th Feb.http://designmuseum.org/things-to-do/talks-and-events/pop-up-exhibitions/new-old

    1. Fiona JarvisListing Owner

      Thank you so much for this insight into the exhibition. We’re going to see for ourselves and I’ve asked the Design Museum for comment. Will update further.