Guest Q&A: Your questions about disability aids and equipment answered — Scope | Disability forum

Guest Q&A: Your questions about disability aids and equipment answered

DEMANDcharity Member Posts: 7 Connected

DEMAND Design & Manufacture for Disability is a UK based charity dedicated to finding practical solutions that help disabled people live life their way.  

We can advise on disability aids and equipment that could help you overcome specific challenges, and when we find a challenge that can’t be solved with off-the-shelf equipment, we’ll adapt, modify or make something completely new that suits your needs.  We do all this without Government or NHS funding and rely on generating our funds from the sale of our own products and from voluntary sources.

Here to answer your questions are our expert team of designers and engineers who have together designed and made thousands of pieces of disability equipment. With the right kit we believe most things are possible!

Do you have a problem you need solved?

So pick our brains about any yet-to-be-solved challenges you have with everyday living, your hobbies and leisure activities, a sport or even a dream you’re pursuing. There may be a practical solution you haven’t yet found, and if not we’ll do our best to propose a creative solution of our own! 

The demand design team standing in a workshop
Ask Demand Design and Manufacture a question by adding a new comment below.

You can find out more about Demand Design and Manufacture on their website.


  • Chris_Alumni
    Chris_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 689 Pioneering
    Hi @DEMANDcharity, thanks for being here on the community. I'll kick things off. What are some of the most common challenges that you've been posed, and how have you utilised technology to overcome these?
  • DEMANDcharity
    DEMANDcharity Member Posts: 7 Connected
    We're glad to be here and to share our experiences! The types of request we get have changed hugely since we were founded in 1980, mostly because there's such a great range of disability equipment available nowadays that didn't exist in the 80's. Despite the growing range of equipment available there are still lots of people with unmet needs, one of the most common requests we get nowadays is from disabled parents looking to find safe ways to get out and about and be independent with their children. In Richard's case, we adapted a buggy by making it shorter, so he could see over the top of baby from his wheelchair, and adding quick release brackets so he could attach the buggy and move it while propelling his wheelchair. We've also helped with steering attachments for pushchairs, buggy boards that fit on wheelchairs and even created a rollator and pushchair hybrid for a mum who needed additional support.  

  • anaqi
    anaqi Member Posts: 52 Courageous
    When my children were little I used a backpack style baby carrier strapped to the seat of my mobility scooter.  There was nothing available to buy so we had to be inventive.  
  • DEMANDcharity
    DEMANDcharity Member Posts: 7 Connected
    Hi @anaqi this looks like some great out-of-the-box thinking, often the simplest solutions are the best! Your idea would be a welcome addition to the community - a collection of DIY assistive tech ideas that don't cost the world! 
  • NikiM
    NikiM Member Posts: 36 Connected
    Hi my main bugbear as a parent of a 12 year old without the ability to sit unaided is air travel.  We have been provided with creating harnesses or plane seats but neither are supportive enough and we end up holding her up throughout the flight. Any advice? 
  • DEMANDcharity
    DEMANDcharity Member Posts: 7 Connected
    Our friends at the Queen Elizabeth Foundation run a 'Try before you fly' programme and have some great information about harnesses and postural supports for use on a plane. Here's a link to the Tryb4ufly site which lists equipment that can be hired for plane journeys. Hope that helps! 
  • milo
    milo Member Posts: 130 Pioneering
    I wonder if you can help with some adaptations to help me in the gym? In particular I need someway to attach a weight to the front of my chair as a counter balance and also something to help carry dumbbells etc securely rather than just balancing on my lap as they have slid off  a number of times. 
  • DEMANDcharity
    DEMANDcharity Member Posts: 7 Connected

    Hello @Milo, thanks for your comment. We’ve had a think about this in the workshop this morning, we aren’t aware of any existing products that would fulfill these needs, so this sounds like something we should be able to help with! We would need to understand a bit more about the sort of weights you want to carry (how heavy, what shape) and also some more about your wheelchair.

    Some things that need to be considered are the total weight limit of your chair, and where it might be possible to apply the loading of a heavy counterweight through the wheelchair frame. We also need to think about the stability of your chair, a counterweight could work great while you are lifting weights, but there’s a possibility your chair could become unstable or ‘front heavy’ as soon as you put the weights down or move to a different part of the gym. It might be that it’s better to transfer to a more stable weights bench or use a tether to anchor your wheelchair instead, we would need to investigate some options together!

    Depending on how heavy the weights are that you are carrying on your lap, we might also need to think about how we make sure the load is centred in the middle of your chair, so there’s no increased risk of tipping to the side.

    We’d be very happy to look into this some more, and see what solutions we can come up with together. It would be useful for us to pay you a visit at the gym for us to get a first hand insight, just give us a call on 01923 681800 or email us at [email protected] if you’d like to arrange that.
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