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Custom Disability Equipment
What do you do when you can't use off the shelf disability equipment?
Have it custom made or adapted!
Charities fund new bespoke wheelchairs and trikes for childen and adults - provided you have the support of your therapist and you meet their eligibility criteria.
But what about toys, computers, seating and a whole range of things used to improve quality of life and independence?
Thankfully there are a number of organisations employing design engineers or volunteers specialising in making one off adaptations to standard equipment or designing completly new products.
Often these services are free or at cost price.
So, if you can't find the disability equipment you need.....
Contact one of charities below.......
Designability (Bath Institute of Medical Engineering)
Designability has a team of electrical and mechanical design engineers who work closely with medical and healthcare professionals to design assistive technology solutions for the disabled in all age groups.
Ideas can be submitted by individuals or organisations. They prefer to work on products that will have a lasting benefit to more than one individual. If successful Designability will follow the project through to production which can then be bought from the Designability.
Previous design products include:
- Wheelchair baby carrier - great for disabled parents
- Wizzybug - a fantastic first wheelchair for the under fives.
To submit your problem use the Referral form on their website.
To buy their products and to see the full range click here. Products are sold at the same price as they cost to make.
Demand designs and makes bespoke to improve the quality of life of disabled individuals where no off the shelf solution exists.
It offers an advice service for individuals with technical support. If an existing solution can't be found referral can be made their specialist design and manufacture service. It does not charge for this service.
To discuss your particular needs telephone: 01923 681800 (Hertfordshire) or 01484 666261 (Yorkshire). Alternatively email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The organisation also offers refurbished equipment for sale to help fund their charity work. It also has a repair/refurbish service and will recycle unwanted equipment.
MERU is a charity that designs and manufactures custom-made equipment for disabled children and young people.
It is able to make adaptations and modifications to existing equipment, repair damaged equipment as well as designing and making custom products.
This may include items such as seats, desks, communication and computer controls, learning and leisure toys, mobility aids and daily living equipment.
MERU is able to accept referrals from children and young people up to 25 years with a long term disability and living in London or the the South East of England.
The applicant would need to be referred by an appropriate professional such as a paediatrician, therapist or SENCO. Though for certain low risk products they may accept a referral by the family.
Although the service is offered free to children and families it usually askes the relevant health or education authority to contribute to the cost.
To apply: Download a project request form or contact their free advice service on telephone: 01372 725 203 (open Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm).
They also make and sell a range of ready made products from the funky flexible gadget stand to the award-winning MERU Bugzi, a powered indoor wheelchair for children aged 1-6 years.
Remap is a national charity working through a network of volunteers. It has 80 panels across England, Wales and Northern Ireland and helps about 4,000 disabled people a year.
Volunteers are retired engineers, craftspeople, technicians, health profesionals and other skilled individuals who give their time freely to help improve the lives of others.
They make, modify and customise disability equipment which are given freely to the people who need them to help improve their independence, quality of life and leisure opportunities.
Items vary in size and complexity from small extensions to walking sticks to remote controls for wheelchairs, special tricycles and baby carriers for wheelchairs. For a full overview of their products have a look at theRemapedia - the list of over 900 products is truely staggering.
To find out more contact your local panel.
Scottish residents contact Remap Scotland.
Steps is a charity that offers a postal toy and switch lending library and a toy adaption service.
It's main focus is the postal library operating through a membership system. There are a variety of membership options and help is given to individuals through it's Membership Support Fund.
The library has a wide range of adapted toys to suit a range of disabilities.
There is a short YouTube video showing some of switch adapted toys.
The adaptation service is not free and prices range from £30 for a basic adaptation to £120 plus postage and packing for a complex adaptation. Steps request that you chat to them first before sending any toys as they may have a toy already adapted in their toy library.
To contact telephone: 01803 214124
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