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Design advice.

maurice2019
maurice2019 Member Posts: 2 Connected
edited September 2019 in News and opportunities
Hi I am in the process of designing a portable wheelchair access lift and would appreciate any input from wheelchair users. I am hoping to provide a low cost portable lift to help access over a couple of steps that can be installed within 1 hour without the removal of the existing steps and operate from a battery making it a stand alone item. It sounds like a simple solution, however its been more difficult than you would think. Having looked at whats currently available on the market they all seem to very expensive or intrusive solutions which I believe should not be the case in 2019. As I am not a wheelchair user I don't want to make any assumptions, I am aware that everyone will have different levels of mobility and my lift will not provide a solution for everyone.

Comments

  • pollyanna1052
    pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,032 Disability Gamechanger
    Hmmm.....no, not as easy as you would hope. But mention disability and everything gets costlier and more intricate.

    I went to a school event and to allow wheelchair users (me) to get down 3 steps. there was an electric lift.. I boarded it...it moved down one step...it stopped! I couldnt get off for 45 mins...till someone got it going again.
    I am no engineer, so have no clue as to how to design your idea.
    Good luck!
  • April2018mom
    April2018mom Posts: 2,869 Member
    Hello @maurice2019
    This is not as simple as you think. I was at the supermarket yesterday and navigating the place alone with a chair proved difficult. When you mention the word disability, somehow the costs are astronomical. Unfortunately I have no experience in engineering but try contacting your local university engineering department to explain what you want them to do. Perhaps they can assist you more? 
    Why don’t you design a survey first asking for the opinions of some wheelchair users? That way you can use the responses to the questions to help you make better choices overall. Just a suggestion. 
    Good luck! I think you are very kind and brave too! 
  • pollyanna1052
    pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,032 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi again. April`s reply is very good.
    I am barred from many shops, banks, dentist even, as they have `just` 2 or 3 steps outside. I do feel excluded quite often. x
  • maurice2019
    maurice2019 Member Posts: 2 Connected
    To be honest I am trying to provide a cost effective solution to give people access into their own homes without using huge ugly ramps or lifts which require extensive ground works such as the removal of steps. I don't think there is any excuse for the big high street names not providing adequate access they always seem to find the money for less worthy causes. I have almost completed my design however I am trying get the right compromise between health and safety and keeping the lift as simple as possible. Reliability is very important so I am trying remove as many components which can fail which will also effect the cost of the product. Would people feel safe on a platform with a small ramp on and off with no side rails. I would like to make it single button operation so when you press the button it moves, when you release it stops. This would replace safety strips and light guards which can be problematic and render the lift inoperable. Don't get me wrong I am not trying to cut corners with health and safety but automation comes at a cost which I my experience is reliability. I know what the british standards are for ramps however I would like to know how difficult it is to get a wheelchair up a small steep ramp. Any input would be most appreciated.
  • pollyanna1052
    pollyanna1052 Member Posts: 2,032 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi again. No, I wouldnt feel safe using a lift with no side rails.
    If councils put access ramps/lifts at someone`s home, I believe they would want a permanent fixture., with  a lot of health and safety issues.
  • RainbowJo
    RainbowJo Member Posts: 79 Courageous
    seems i cant post a picture of one i designed. gerr lol.
  • RainbowJo
    RainbowJo Member Posts: 79 Courageous
    edited September 2019
    @maurice2019 i put the sketches on ur profile. dont know if it worked as im using my phone. 

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