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Wheelchairs aren't used, they are worn

RachaelHackOnWheelsRachaelHackOnWheels Member Posts: 16 Listener
edited July 2017 in Guest blogs

My name’s Rachael, and I want to talk to you about #HackOnWheels.

#HackOnWheels aims to enable all wheelchair users, wherever they are, to access a wheelchair that has been fully customised to meet their individual needs. #HackOnWheels is a movement to create the first ‘open source’ wheelchair.

Crowd-sourced design challenges from wheelchair users will put the user at the heart of the design process. An online library of open source wheelchair designs, with a platform that allows online design collaboration, will drive innovation in the market. A design code for open source wheelchair designs in the online library meanwhile will ensure that designs can be made from standard parts that are easy to obtain, making it cheaper for wheelchair users to repair their wheelchairs.Wheel from a wheelchair

Wheelchairs need to be designed for the individual

Back in June, when I first introduced #HackOnWheels to this forum, I asked what you would want to change about your wheelchair - "What do you think of your wheelchair? Does it meet your needs?"

 We were overwhelmed by your response. Nearly 100 people shared their views and experiences. Your contribution has helped us define the challenges we set designers and to promote great wheelchair design.  

Since starting #HackOnWheels, I’ve been struck by the creativity of wheelchair users who’ve participated in our events and forums. Almost everyone I’ve spoken to throughout this journey has shared stories of how they’ve ‘hacked’ their wheelchair to make it a better fit for them, whether by changing the wheels to improve suspension for sport, making new brake pads that fit the shape of their hand or spray-painting the frame to suit their individual style.

What’s become clear is that our wheelchairs are as individual as their users. So much so that I’m not sure ‘user’ is the right word. When you customise a wheelchair to suit you, you don’t ‘use’ a wheelchair, you wear it.

Just like a pair of shoes, a wheelchair needs to be customised to the body, lifestyle and environment of its user (or ‘wearer’) in order to give freedom and independence. Just as someone probably wouldn’t wear high heels to cross a muddy field or climb a mountain, wheelchairs need to be suitable for our environment. And when they’re not, when we can, we ‘hack’ them!

Join us for an afternoon of discussions

On the 21st September, #HackOnWheels will be hosting an afternoon of talks and discussions to explore how we can change perceptions by re-thinking wheelchairs as an extension of the body or as wearable technology, a fashion piece or lifestyle product.

Part of the London Design Festival, the Fix Our Wheels workshop and Fix Our City exhibition will also be launching the #HackOnWheels Manifesto and Student Design Award. If you can make it, simply sign up here.

Tell us about your wheelchair

I’d love to hear from you! Do you see your wheelchair as something you wear? Is it fashionable? Would you like it to be? Do you think of your chair as an extension of your body? Would you like to? Do you see your wheelchair as a lifestyle product like a bike, roller-skates or scooter? Let us know what you think in the comments below or by tweeting (at)HackOnWheels.

Replies

  • RJPLugardRJPLugard Member Posts: 2
    As I mentioned in my introduction I am here to attend people on things I know. One thing I would like to attend you is "De Haagse Hogeschool". It is not a University but a "Hogeschool" which is the second highest education level. "Haagse" means from The Hague.

    Within this school they have departement called "Expertisecentrum Bewegingstechnologie". Within this expertisecentre they are doing research on several subjecten among the way people manouvre and developing wheelchairs for fe The Dutch female wheelchairbasketball team. May be it is interesting to get in contact with them.

    Let me know whether I can do something for you. Mrs Rachael Wallach knows how to contact me if it is not possible through this platform.

    Below a link to their website which unfortunately is in Dutch:
    https://www.dehaagsehogeschool.nl/onderzoek/expertisecentra/expertisecentrum-bewegingstechnologie
  • BillFBillF Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Great subject! When choosing my wheelchair I definitely took into account the look of it and yes, it is part of me and my identity. Even though I am a part time wheelie it was important to me that my chair looked good and I do feel more than comfortable in it and consider it an extension of myself.  
  • RachaelHackOnWheelsRachaelHackOnWheels Member Posts: 16 Listener
    Hi BillF!
    Thank you for your comment! Have you made any adaptions or changes to your chair since getting it? 
  • foxukfoxuk Member Posts: 107 Pioneering
    As one of the Disabled People on benefits, I have to say that looks must come after function. I am close to needing a wheelchair and my wife has used one for 50 years.

    Cost is the prime consideration when buying a wheelchair. Functionality comes (unfortunately) in second place, whilst appearance comes a distant third.

    When an assessment of a chair is carried out there should be an inclusion of relating cost to purchase by NHS and all other HMG departments.

    Most wheelchairs are badly designed and based on work done many decades ago with 19th-century materials. When 'good' wheelchairs are priced at many times the price of a Chinese import there is a problem in justifying cost.

    e.g. We bought a Chinese mobility scooter for £400 a few years ago. The 'pretty' UK model with the same or lower specifications started at £2000.

    In practice, £400 is saveable from benefits £2000 becomes a big chunk of Mobility every month.

    Just our opinion,

    Jon (& Chrysi)



     
  • Elizabeth Siân GwilliamElizabeth Siân Gwilliam Member Posts: 8 Connected
    edited October 2016
    I'm 30 years old, a mum of three (including a newborn) and I've used a wheelchair almost my whole life, but fully since age 16. For me, a wheelchair has to look like it fits you, your shape, and not be the first thing people notice. Unless it's for good reasons! I want it to look well made, not like a supermarket wheelchair. Sleek and stylish and always comfortable... I often get a numb bum or a dent in my arm from leaning on my wheel guards!
    As a mum, I'd also like adaptations for pushing my own baby!
    Lizzy
    Twitter: (at)shopgirlygm
  • RachaelHackOnWheelsRachaelHackOnWheels Member Posts: 16 Listener
    Thanks Lizzy! Have you found any good adaptations or hacks out there to allow you to push or carry your baby? This came up as an issue in our last post from another mum too!!
  • BillFBillF Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Hi Rachael, the only adjustment I've made to my chair is a seat cushion which makes it more comfortable on my hip. As I self funded I didn't have a lot of money so didn't get a chair that was as adjustable as I would have liked such as seat back and height adjustment. I've already got my eye on another for when I save my pennies.   
  • PhilipPhilip Member Posts: 35 Courageous
    I wish I had a wheelchair, an electric one, that way I would be able & damn grateful to leave my house, go shopping with my wife or even by myself, I pray for the independence thus would bring. Even an electric scooter would be nice.
  • cpchriscpchris Member Posts: 14
    edited October 2016
    I definitely wear my power chair!

    it's a Segway based Genny that I control - in part - by shifting my body weight forwards or backwards. 
    Totally amazing machine that's transformed my life. 
    Unfortunenately it also came with a hefty price tag too!
    Hey Ho - or should that be Tally Ho!
  • BillFBillF Member Posts: 7 Listener
    Philip said:
    I wish I had a wheelchair, an electric one, that way I would be able & **** grateful to leave my house, go shopping with my wife or even by myself, I pray for the independence thus would bring. Even an electric scooter would be nice.
    I sincerely hope you can get an electric  wheelchair Phillip. Is there any chance you could apply for government funding? 
  • foxukfoxuk Member Posts: 107 Pioneering
    Philip,

    The best way of doing what you want is to contact your local CAB and find out what benefits you qualify for. If you have a local disability charity they can help as well. Your consultant can refer you for an NHS chair.

    There are charities that let people have wheelchairs if they need them.

    Very basic electric wheelchairs can be bought for a couple of hundred. Second hand ones are sometimes available on eBay for a lot less. Local freeads papers and  online sites often have free wheelchairs when people are clearing house. freecycle has local groups.

    It's not easy, we know from experience, but it is possible. My wife's first electric chair cost us £200 and that took literally months for us to save up for.

    I would suggest as you are here phoning the Scope advice line on 0808 800 3333 - they should be able to let you know what you are entitled to.

    N.B. It is an entitlement, not charity, we pay Tax and NHI so that people who need stuff like wheelchairs get them.



  • Jean EveleighJean Eveleigh Member Posts: 116 Pioneering
    I have EDS which is a progressive, degenerative condition and so need to use a variety of aids and adaptions to facilitate daily life wheelchairs being one of them - I say chairs plural as I have 2 a manual and an electric for differing situations.

    Both have their advantages and disadvantages and so I like the analogy of a pair of shoes, as when thinking about which aids to use or take out with me I think about how I will get to the venue, the access inside the venue, what i will be required to do when I get there etc and pick my outfit, shoes and aids as required just as you see office workers who have to wear heels for work travelling in their trainers then changing into their work shoes I mostly travel in my wheelchair then can sometimes walk around a little inside so either push my chair (if I take my manual) or use my crutches for support until I tire and can no longer stand.

    I do consider myself to be a wheelchair user as I use my chairs in the same way i would use a bike or a cup or even a car to preform a specific task, in this case to replace the function of my legs to aid me to traverse the environment around me.

    Both my chairs are functional and for the most part meet my needs and I try to get them to look as attractive as possible but do they represent my personality, not really, have I adapted them to better meet my needs yes in so far as adding cup holders, bags, cosies to help keep me warm etc - but in an ideal world I would like a fully fitted corset style seats that can still recline for better lumber support, I would like much better suspension, and as I have two dogs it will sound stupid but the ability to interchange wheels for muddy fields or formal work functions so that I can have one frame with interchangeable units to suit the task I wish to partake in rather than having to have separate chairs for each function, especially as I become more reliant on my chair with each passing year.
  • CsanzhenryCsanzhenry Member Posts: 1
    I have EDS, CFS and fibromyalgia.  I'm 2/3rds of my time in my wheels.. They're NHS issue and I'm not allowed to adapt my chair with anything permanent. I have a bicycle bottle holder cable tied to the side under the brakes.

    I was told if I lost weight and 4" off my hips, I'd be reassessed for a narrower chair allowing me to get through a standard door (its not a bariatric chair, just the exact width of a door so I can't quite fit).  I pushed myself to lose the inches and they've told me I need to lose more.  They keep moving the goal posts.

    I have to self propel as I don't have an adaptable property to be allowed an electric chair.. I can't afford to move house, not to mention a housing shortage in my area.

    At 16kgs I have what's deemed a "light weight" chair,  but it doesn't seem it..  If I want a 5kg chair, I need to save up and buy it myself.  At nigh on £2k for a chair,  I'm going to be saving for ever.

    I'm currently trying to get an old 2nd hand sports chair so I can continue with my love of archery, there just isn't the funding/grants out there..
  • SiigiiSiigii Member Posts: 2 Listener
    I have a wheelchair (NHS) manual one which tbh because I don't own it I don't feel I could adapt it permanently. On the other hand I own my powerchair. It's had glow in the dark sugar skulls and rainbow skulls seat cover lol but right now I'm working on properly covering the moulded panels in self adhesive vinyl film which is wonderful stuff as it comes in SO many varieties. I'm a mum of a toddler. She's 2 now so will sit on my lap, I strap her to my with her reins and I wear a waist belt too. When she was a little baby I'd carry her in a sling or baby carrier like a mei tai.
  • RachaelHackOnWheelsRachaelHackOnWheels Member Posts: 16 Listener
    cpchris said:
    I definitely wear my power chair!

    it's a Segway based Genny that I control - in part - by shifting my body weight forwards or backwards. 
    Totally amazing machine that's transformed my life. 
    Unfortunenately it also came with a hefty price tag too!
    Hey Ho - or should that be Tally Ho!
    That sounds amazing!! Wheelchairs can be awesome ☺️ It's just such a shame that these are so expensive...
  • SeachySeachy Member Posts: 7 Connected
    Without a shadow of doubt my chair is an extension of me, i wear it like my shoes and therefore it has to be fashionable. When choosing it I had to think about design/colour as well as fit and comfort, it was built for my frame/size height, leg measurement and so on. I hate when I get out and transfer to a lounge chair or have a stretch complete strangers think they can get in and test it out! Trying to pull wheelies bouncing it and scratching the rims. They wonder why I get angry but with custom built comes custom price and when it costs more than some cars that is why I get upset. I love my chair, it allows me to pick my daughter up from school, go shopping, swimming and so on. I love the fact it is blue matching my car and it is worn by me and part of me. Please people when I am in the supermarket do not push me out of the way to get to what you want. Say excuse me, let me move or ask for assistance if I need it, do not assume I need you to move me, or next time you are in my way would you like me to run into you? Great conversation
  • MSmum99MSmum99 Member Posts: 26 Courageous
    edited October 2016
    I'm using a powerchair now but I guess you are focussing on manual?
     When I was using a manual the main functional issue that wasn't considered at first was how easy is it for a carer to use.  I had to go back to nhs for a "clinical assessment" (which I would advise anyone looking to get a chair even for PT to ask for), to get a chair light enough and easy to fold for my Mum to put in my boot.  I did care about looks too and when I went to buy a chair (urgently needed to replace NHS broken one before a holiday) I chose the colourful, 'designed' looking chair. I often get 'wheelchair envy' when I see someone to in a good looking chair, although my  'quickie salsa' is not bad.Main functionality issue now I would say is compactness for getting round house, shops, trains etc.(maybe second to comfort).

  • RachaelHackOnWheelsRachaelHackOnWheels Member Posts: 16 Listener
    edited October 2016
    MSmum99 said:
    I'm using a powerchair now but I guess you are focussing on manual?
     When I was using a manual the main functional issue that wasn't considered at first was how easy is it for a carer to use.  I had to go back to nhs for a "clinical assessment" (which I would advise anyone looking to get a chair even for PT to ask for), to get a chair light enough and easy to fold for my Mum to put in my boot.  I did care about looks too and when I went to buy a chair (urgently needed to replace NHS broken one before a holiday) I chose the colourful, 'designed' looking chair. I often get 'wheelchair envy' when I see someone to in a good looking chair, although my  'quickie salsa' is not bad.Main functionality issue now I would say is compactness for getting round house, shops, trains etc.(maybe second to comfort).

    Hi MSmum99 - we're looking at both manual and power chairs! Keen to hear from as many different wheelchair users as possible, we're a diverse bunch and that's the very reason customisation is so important. 
    From this forum, I think it's interesting to see that form/look, function and price are all key considerations! 
    If you have twitter, stay in touch (at)hackonwheels  :)
  • RachaelHackOnWheelsRachaelHackOnWheels Member Posts: 16 Listener
    edited October 2016
    BillF said:
    Philip said:
    I wish I had a wheelchair, an electric one, that way I would be able & **** grateful to leave my house, go shopping with my wife or even by myself, I pray for the independence thus would bring. Even an electric scooter would be nice.
    I sincerely hope you can get an electric  wheelchair Phillip. Is there any chance you could apply for government funding? 
    Thanks BillF! & Philip - I do hope you manage to find funding for your chair.
    The cost of customisation is a key factor in why I started #HackOnWheels. It seems absurd that a wheelchair can cost more than a car, and customisation is essential to enabling independence.
    Stay in touch with us on twitter (at)hackonwheels!

  • RachaelHackOnWheelsRachaelHackOnWheels Member Posts: 16 Listener
    edited October 2016
    I have EDS which is a progressive, degenerative condition and so need to use a variety of aids and adaptions to facilitate daily life wheelchairs being one of them - I say chairs plural as I have 2 a manual and an electric for differing situations.

    Both have their advantages and disadvantages and so I like the analogy of a pair of shoes, as when thinking about which aids to use or take out with me I think about how I will get to the venue, the access inside the venue, what i will be required to do when I get there etc and pick my outfit, shoes and aids as required just as you see office workers who have to wear heels for work travelling in their trainers then changing into their work shoes I mostly travel in my wheelchair then can sometimes walk around a little inside so either push my chair (if I take my manual) or use my crutches for support until I tire and can no longer stand.

    I do consider myself to be a wheelchair user as I use my chairs in the same way i would use a bike or a cup or even a car to preform a specific task, in this case to replace the function of my legs to aid me to traverse the environment around me.

    Both my chairs are functional and for the most part meet my needs and I try to get them to look as attractive as possible but do they represent my personality, not really, have I adapted them to better meet my needs yes in so far as adding cup holders, bags, cosies to help keep me warm etc - but in an ideal world I would like a fully fitted corset style seats that can still recline for better lumber support, I would like much better suspension, and as I have two dogs it will sound stupid but the ability to interchange wheels for muddy fields or formal work functions so that I can have one frame with interchangeable units to suit the task I wish to partake in rather than having to have separate chairs for each function, especially as I become more reliant on my chair with each passing year.
    Hi Jean! I love this comment - it would be AMAZING to be able to interchange wheels/units so easily. 
    We're actually running a design challenge at the moment which asks student designers to try and do just that  :)
    You can find out more by following us on twitter (at)hackonwheels and on the RSA website here: http://sda.thersa.org/en/challenge/rsa-student-design-awards-2017/phase/rsa-student-design-awards-2017/track/hackonwheels-en
  • RachaelHackOnWheelsRachaelHackOnWheels Member Posts: 16 Listener
    edited October 2016
    Seachy said:
    Without a shadow of doubt my chair is an extension of me, i wear it like my shoes and therefore it has to be fashionable. When choosing it I had to think about design/colour as well as fit and comfort, it was built for my frame/size height, leg measurement and so on. I hate when I get out and transfer to a lounge chair or have a stretch complete strangers think they can get in and test it out! Trying to pull wheelies bouncing it and scratching the rims. They wonder why I get angry but with custom built comes custom price and when it costs more than some cars that is why I get upset. I love my chair, it allows me to pick my daughter up from school, go shopping, swimming and so on. I love the fact it is blue matching my car and it is worn by me and part of me. Please people when I am in the supermarket do not push me out of the way to get to what you want. Say excuse me, let me move or ask for assistance if I need it, do not assume I need you to move me, or next time you are in my way would you like me to run into you? Great conversation
    Thank you!! 
    All of this is so true - and really resonates with what other wheelchair users (wheelchair wearers!) experience. 
    If you're on twitter, keep in touch by following (at)hackonwheels. 

  • BillFBillF Member Posts: 7 Listener
    edited October 2016
    Im really enjoying reading about how others feel about their wheelchairs. I have recently been blessed by a wonderfully generous and kind lady I've followed on Twitter. She is also a wheelchair user, using a power chair. She had a power chair that she no longer used and offered it to me. I bought new batteries and now have a power chair of my own. I cannot tell you how appreciative I am of others kindness. You can check it out on Twitter - I've got Melody (that's her name) as my profile pic (at)fulafoto. I've followed you too Rachael
  • RachaelHackOnWheelsRachaelHackOnWheels Member Posts: 16 Listener
    edited October 2016
    BillF said:
    Im really enjoying reading about how others feel about their wheelchairs. I have recently been blessed by a wonderfully generous and kind lady I've followed on Twitter. She is also a wheelchair user, using a power chair. She had a power chair that she no longer used and offered it to me. I bought new batteries and now have a power chair of my own. I cannot tell you how appreciative I am of others kindness. You can check it out on Twitter - I've got Melody (that's her name) as my profile pic (at)fulafoto. I've followed you too Rachael
    Thanks BillF! Hearing everyone's wheelchair stories is really my favourite part of my job  :)
    It's great to hear about Melody - just shows what the power of community can do!!

  • RachaelHackOnWheelsRachaelHackOnWheels Member Posts: 16 Listener
    I have EDS, CFS and fibromyalgia.  I'm 2/3rds of my time in my wheels.. They're NHS issue and I'm not allowed to adapt my chair with anything permanent. I have a bicycle bottle holder cable tied to the side under the brakes.

    I was told if I lost weight and 4" off my hips, I'd be reassessed for a narrower chair allowing me to get through a standard door (its not a bariatric chair, just the exact width of a door so I can't quite fit).  I pushed myself to lose the inches and they've told me I need to lose more.  They keep moving the goal posts.

    I have to self propel as I don't have an adaptable property to be allowed an electric chair.. I can't afford to move house, not to mention a housing shortage in my area.

    At 16kgs I have what's deemed a "light weight" chair,  but it doesn't seem it..  If I want a 5kg chair, I need to save up and buy it myself.  At nigh on £2k for a chair,  I'm going to be saving for ever.

    I'm currently trying to get an old 2nd hand sports chair so I can continue with my love of archery, there just isn't the funding/grants out there..
    Hi Csanzhenry! Have you tried Awards for All? https://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/global-content/programmes/england/awards-for-all-england
    They might be able to provide a grant to you or a local archery club...
    Wheelchairs are so, so expensive!! Best of luck with saving (and the funding...!) #HackOnWheels is working to make customisation less expensive, and involve wheelchair users in customisation so that we're able to get the right adaptions for us, whatever that might be. 
  • RachaelHackOnWheelsRachaelHackOnWheels Member Posts: 16 Listener
    Siigii said:
    I have a wheelchair (NHS) manual one which tbh because I don't own it I don't feel I could adapt it permanently. On the other hand I own my powerchair. It's had glow in the dark sugar skulls and rainbow skulls seat cover lol but right now I'm working on properly covering the moulded panels in self adhesive vinyl film which is wonderful stuff as it comes in SO many varieties. I'm a mum of a toddler. She's 2 now so will sit on my lap, I strap her to my with her reins and I wear a waist belt too. When she was a little baby I'd carry her in a sling or baby carrier like a mei tai.
    I love this! Your powerchair sounds amazing!!  <3
    I'd love to see photos of the panels - have you shared any of your adaptations with the community on instructables, thingyverse or wevolver?
    instructables.com
    thingiverse.com
    wevolver.com
  • Jean EveleighJean Eveleigh Member Posts: 116 Pioneering
    Hi Rachael,

    Thanks for the info you gave me in your reply to my first post, unfortunately I don't do twitter (all a bit over my head lol) but I am looking at the website link you gave me.
  • trekinetictrekinetic Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Hi Rachael
    Well you've certainly sparked a lively discussion here !
    Mike Spindle, designer & manufacturer of the Trekinetic manual & powered wheelchairs, realised exactly your sentiments when he set about designing his state of the art 3 wheel chair.
    Seeing a young, cool, fashionable lad in an antiquated wheelchair was for him, the pivotal point and he decided wheelchairs needed to be brought into the 20th century.
    6 years after sketching the design on a boarding pass, he was able to bring the Manual Trekinetic K2 to the market place. Since then, he has developed the GTE, a powered version of the K2 and, to our knowledge, the ONLY powered chair that is liftable and will fit into almost ANY car.
    We (Beyond The Boundary Wheelchairs)  love working with these chairs. They're designed to suit the human shape rather than being L shaped. They are versatile and a great everyday chair with a fantastic all terrain ability and I particularly love being able to see how adaptations can, at times,  be made to suit the individual. Having a bespoke wheelchair to work with can make such an incredible difference to an individual.
    We're also great fans of Remap who look at what the person needs and does the best to provide it. I recently saw there kindle page turner ....brilliant idea and that is just one of 100's
    Keep up the good work Rachael
  • RachaelHackOnWheelsRachaelHackOnWheels Member Posts: 16 Listener
    Hi Rachael
    Well you've certainly sparked a lively discussion here !
    Mike Spindle, designer & manufacturer of the Trekinetic manual & powered wheelchairs, realised exactly your sentiments when he set about designing his state of the art 3 wheel chair.
    Seeing a young, cool, fashionable lad in an antiquated wheelchair was for him, the pivotal point and he decided wheelchairs needed to be brought into the 20th century.
    6 years after sketching the design on a boarding pass, he was able to bring the Manual Trekinetic K2 to the market place. Since then, he has developed the GTE, a powered version of the K2 and, to our knowledge, the ONLY powered chair that is liftable and will fit into almost ANY car.
    We (Beyond The Boundary Wheelchairs)  love working with these chairs. They're designed to suit the human shape rather than being L shaped. They are versatile and a great everyday chair with a fantastic all terrain ability and I particularly love being able to see how adaptations can, at times,  be made to suit the individual. Having a bespoke wheelchair to work with can make such an incredible difference to an individual.
    We're also great fans of Remap who look at what the person needs and does the best to provide it. I recently saw there kindle page turner ....brilliant idea and that is just one of 100's
    Keep up the good work Rachael
    Cool!! I've just checked out the chairs (http://www.trekinetic.com). These are fab. We'd love you to join our community and develop some great designs! 
  • trekinetictrekinetic Member Posts: 10 Listener
    Am happy to join ( especially if you send me the link! ) but unfortunately I'm not the engineer or manufacturer so my input may be rather limited :-(
    Are you proposing to
    make wheelchairs from scratch that are entirely to the users spec ? 
  • islanderislander Member Posts: 3
    how do u know you have the right wheelchair
  • foxukfoxuk Member Posts: 107 Pioneering
    Great question islander! My wife has a large collection of 'just right for her' wheelchairs sold and provided by experts over the years and none of them really fit... and comfort as an 'added extra' is just silly.
  • trekinetictrekinetic Member Posts: 10 Listener
    In our experience there's no such thing as the 'right' or 
    'perfect' chair..... sadly it seems there's always a compromise of some sort. Guess its about working out what your priorities are and looking for the chair that can fulfill them adequately 
  • foxukfoxuk Member Posts: 107 Pioneering
    trekinetic- I think the main problem that most of us face is cost. Both of us would love the three wheelers you sell but as we've been disabled people for all of our 'earning' lives and didn't benefit from inherited wealth they are completely out of our price range.

    With the system as it is people often have to choose between a vehicle or a half-decent wheelchair - obviously if on benefits, which the vast majority of us are and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

    I realise that some charities may provide help (as on your website) but going through the means tests required is something we will never do. A friend was asked by an advisor 'do you really need broadband?' 

    The main items needing attention are cost and functionality. Looks i.e. aesthetics is something that is secondary as good, functional design is often beautiful. Design methodology used to start with function...... and cost is always a primary in business.

    You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear is demonstrated by the attempts to prettify early 20th century designs by some manufacturers.

    Open source design would be the way to go. I am sure the Chinese Manufacturers would welcome designs that cut costs and fulfilled functional aims.
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