Designability pushchair for wheelchair users image

Bath-based design charity Designability is working on a project to create a widely available pushchair for wheelchair users to address the current gap in the market.

The wheelchair-attachable pushchair will enablle disabled parents to independently go out and about with their young child.

The charity is now entering the final phase of product development and user testing and hopes to have a finalised design ready later in 2022.

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As the cost pf production of this specialist product is likely to be high, Designability says its goal is to make this wheelchair-friendly pushchair available to disabled parents through its free UK loan scheme in 2023. This means that parents will be able to borrow one from the charity, and then return it when it is no longer needed.

It comes as research indicates that there are more than 4,000 manual wheelchair users with children aged 0-3. A wheelchair-attachable pushchair is Designability’s most requested product from disabled people looking for a solution.

According to the charity, there is no widely available pushchair disabled parents can use, which means they are isolated at home or dependent on somebody to push their pushchair when out and about. This can lead to practical difficulties and potentially unsafe and uncomfortable positions, alongside negative feelings of being reliant on others to go out with their baby or toddler.

Despite looking, user engagement groups hosted by Designability told the charity that they have been unable to find a suitable pushchair for use with a wheelchair.

The charity has worked with wheelchair users to discover the key challenges they face when carrying babies in order to create a prototype. It has developed design solutions in terms of the attachment mechanism and the wheel configuration; it has also reviewed the standards and regulations that will apply to a new Pushchair for Wheelchair Users.

The valuable input from disabled parents has led to the creation of a fully-working prototype, which Designability was able to test in a series of user engagement trials held throughout autumn 2021.

Find out more about the project here 

Last year, the design charity called on the public for vital donations to help tackle the backlog of disabled children requiring powerchairs by giving them one of its free to borrow Wizzybug powerchairs. Children faced long waiting times due to the disruption caused by COVID-19.

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