Disabled people
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James_DevlinJames_Devlin Member Posts: 5 Listener
edited August 2014 in Disabled people
I am a product designer looking to develop better products for those with a disability and wanted to know if it would be offensive to wheelchair users if I spent some time (3 days or so) in a wheelchair to better understand the needs?


  • milomilo Member Posts: 164 Pioneering
    Think it's a great idea,shame more people don't do it to see how it feels and the difficulties we face. Personally would like to see someone design some kind of hook type thing to open shop doors etc so you have room to maneuver without getting jammed
  • James_DevlinJames_Devlin Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Thank you for the feedback Milo, I'm glad you think its a good idea! Would you be able to describe your idea in a little more depth so I can look into it?
  • NoahNoah Member Posts: 430 Pioneering
    Really good post, Thanks James. I think as part of the training to be an OT you have to spend time in wheel chairs to try and better understand what it is like. I believe you will go far with this idea and I'm very interested to follow your progress.
  • milomilo Member Posts: 164 Pioneering
    Hi James. What I had in mind was something about a foot or so long, similar to a grabber with a hand grip at one end and a hook on the other so you can pull a door handle without having to butt the chair against the door while trying to reverse one handed which can be awkward. I find the grabber is ok for doors in the house but isn't strong enough for shop doors etc. To give you an idea I tried a tent peg puller but it isn't big enough.
  • James_DevlinJames_Devlin Member Posts: 5 Listener
    Hi Milo, thanks for that, I will have a look into this problem and come up with some ideas, once i've done that i'll post a link on here so you can see if i've understood. I have also spent my first day in a chair! I went to IKEA and learned loads, mostly I have to say about the way in which people interact with you when you're in a chair which seems to range from a very caring, sensitive and warm approach through to totally ignoring you. I am looking forward to spending more time in it and perhaps doing my grocery shopping next, thanks for your support.
  • milomilo Member Posts: 164 Pioneering
    Hi James, I will be very interested in any progress you make with it. Also, welcome to the wonderful world of wheelchair users. Hope the experience in Ikea was an eye opener. Can I suggest you try somewhere like your local store next as you'll find narrower aisles and doorways etc
    I know what you mean about the difference in people's reaction to you being interesting, in my case I try to not let people nor see me but not always easy as don't want to be pushy. Personally if I see someone staring I usually just pop a wheelie and wheel away.
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