Designability, a Bath-based charity aiming to create life-changing assistive technology, is looking for thoughts and feedback to help develop a new wheelchair baby carrier for parents in wheelchairs.

Appealing to mums, dads and grandparents with experience of using a manual wheelchair and being a parent, the charity is keen to hear their experiences to help with design of the new assistive technology.

Designability says it could be a new parent / grandparent or those that have older children and have gathered lots of knowledge and expertise on what might be suitable and helpful.

“Designability need to understand lots of practical details about how wheelchairs and buggies work or don’t work when used together,” said Fiona Cromwell, Marketing & Fundraising Officer for Designability.

“We are also interested in hearing from healthcare professionals who have an expertise in wheelchairs or specific interest in baby carriers.”

The charity previously designed a wheelchair baby carrier a number of years ago explained Fiona, however, plans to redesign the device to make it more fit for purpose.

In addition to the redesign, the charity also intends to make the device more accessible to parents that could benefit from it.

Fiona commented: “We hope to look at launching a loan scheme service whereby parents are able to have them for free for as long as they need them. We would obviously look to fundraise in order to make this happen.”

Having been operating for over 50 years, Designability is a charity consisting of various engineers and designer creating assistive products with a focus on usability and attractive design.

The organisation launched the Wizzybug in the 2000s, a powered wheelchair created for children under the age of five living with spinal muscular atrophy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy or cerebral palsy.

According to Designability, this is the beginning of a two-year programme, with ambitions to launch the first wheelchair baby carrier in 2020.

Wheelchair users and parents wishing to help with the project can attend a workshop hosted by the charity in the Bath/Bristol area or complete short email surveys which will be used to inform and guide the product design, asking for views about practicalities and potential features.

For those wishing to find out more or register interest, contact Nina Evans at ninaevans@designability.org.uk or call the organisation on 01225 824107.

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