The ‘D’ List features new things in the world of disability and here’s our latest round up.
1st The WHEEL PAD a new concept in accessible homes. It’s a temporary home that accommodates a family member that needs extra support due to a sudden disability. It’s a temporary bedroom and bathroom that can be attached to an existing home – a ‘granny flat’ on wheels. It was inspired by the story of Riley Poor, a sports cinematographer who suffered tetraplegia at the age of 26. In his recovery he was unable to find an universally-accessible apartment and moved into a hotel for eight months, together with his caregivers, as he learned how to live more independently. So the WHEEL PAD was developed with the mission to,
‘build a socially-conscious, environmentally-friendly company that provides transitional housing for people newly using wheelchairs in a respectful and supportive manner.‘
Only available in USA at the moment, it costs $3000/month (6 months min.) or $60,000 to buy. We really hope this great idea goes global?!
2nd Waterproof Clothing for Wheelchair users. A request from a reader lead us to research this subject especially as I refuse to wear the S*** that’s generally available i.e. navy blue plastic covers that make you look like the mother in ‘Psycho’.
By chance at the same time we came across Wheelydry. Developed by a mother whose son wanted to be trendy at festivals……..
‘My son has Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and was attending his 1st festival, something he had been wanting to tick off the bucket list for a while. For the love of money I could not get him to use any sort of waterproof as he hated the feel of the material or the colours or style of them. So I had no choice other than to create something I had a chance at getting him to wear, especially with English weather being what it is and my dread of him getting cold and wet. Once it was made I showed a few people and WheelyDry was born, it’s taken a while to get the design simple enough to put on and fitting properly but I’m there now.’
The covers can easily cross over to scooter users and there will soon be an invisible cover so you can show off what you’re wearing underneath. As always invention comes from necessity and of course ‘style’. You can buy these on the FB page and they cost £34.99 which we think is a good deal.
Other rain solutions we found that are better than the average include the Raynsie from The Netherlands. They’re a cycling onesie but look suitable for wheelchair and scooter users. They’re breathable, windproof, waterproof, pack up small and have reflective strips.
They’re different and apparently easy to get on and off. At €299 not cheap but they do make a statement!!
3rd is Scewo a wheelchair concept (prototype unfortunately) it goes up and down stairs and on their FB page you can see it being used in a bar in Zurich. We could have used it on our bar crawl in Covent Garden for Disabled Access Day!! More of that later when we look at access in Covent Garden.
In the meantime the student team developing Scewo are winning competitions to develop the prototype further and they say,
‘we have to simplify the system to make it more robust, safer and easier to manufacture. For that we will have to look for investors.’
There are a few designs like this being developed and it can’t be long until one gets produced………..here’s hoping.