Advice on head support and rotation mechanism

 Requests for Assistance  Comments Off on Advice on head support and rotation mechanism
Mar 012019

On the MakeAbility forum, Jack Rae of Carlisle panel asks:

I have a client with advanced MND (Motor Neurone Disease) and as such has lost all muscle control over head/neck movement – ie he can neither hold his head upright nor rotate it to right or left.

He still has control over face and mouth muscles but, due to lack of diaphragm control, is unable operate any form of ‘sip-and-puff’ sensor.

When in his day-chair, his head naturally relaxes back against the seat back cushion. He uses a U-shaped neck support should he wish to have his head held upright, but this has to be placed in and out of use by his carer.

What he seeks is a method of permitting his head to be held upright and also permit slight rotation (left and right) so that he can look at anyone he may be speaking to.

I envisage providing a motorised drive to the U-shaped neck support. One motor would operate elevation of his head and a second motor would (by operation of sensors in proximity of both left and right cheeks) be used to provide a few degrees of head rotation. A master sensor would be used to activate and de-activate the motorised features so that normal facial movements would not inadvertently operate either motors.

My enquiry is : Has anyone already worked on such a project and/or are there obvious (or less than obvious) pitfalls with the concept that must be borne in mind.

Secondly : Can anyone suggest a source of DMC (Dough Moldable Compound) which is a thermo-setting sheet material (not Polymorph) for forming into body supports

Many thanks

If you’re able to help, please sign up for an account (if you haven’t already) and leave a comment on his thread. Thanks all!

Help with bike trailer

 Requests for Assistance  Comments Off on Help with bike trailer
Feb 012019

Latest from the MakeAbility forum:

We’re looking at the possibility of a bike trailer to transport a severely disabled young person for recreational activities.  We’re somewhat concerned by the safety of the trailing load, possibly over-running the bike on a downhill corner for example.  The passenger is 44Kg, 135cms.  The passenger will be essentially passive, ie not capable of applying any brakes themselves.  I know there have been some cycle trailer projects done in the past so we would be grateful for any general comments from those with experience of having worked on something similar.

If you’re able to help, please sign up for an account (if you haven’t already) and comment at this link. You can also subscribe to the board and get the latest updates directly by clicking the blue ‘subscribe’ link at the top of the page.

Thanks all!

Single-handed cameras

 Requests for Assistance  Comments Off on Single-handed cameras
Jan 222019

This just in from the MakeAbility forum:

We have received this request for help in France.  Can anyone advise please?

‘Hello Remap,

Congratulations on the wonderful work!

I’m writing on behalf of a friend and colleague, Mathieu. He is an estate agent, and needs to take photographs of properties for work, but working with a camera is difficult as he is missing his right arm. He has full dexterity in his left hand. He was looking for accessible cameras, and I’d heard of your project and looked you up.

We are based in France, so I understand that he may not fall within the scope of charity, but is there any way you could help?


Many thanks,


Mathieu and Patricia


Please comment over at the forum if you’re able to help. (You’ll need to register for the links to work.) Thanks all!

Converting mobile hoist to cantilever

 Requests for Assistance  Comments Off on Converting mobile hoist to cantilever
Jan 032019

AndrewR on our MakeAbility forum asks:

Has anyone considered or completed the modification of a mobile hoist into a cantilever type please?   If so, I would appreciate any comment or advice on any of the issues you had to address either safety, engineering or legislation related.

A client needs a hoist and sling to be able to get into a bath.  There is a Molift Smart 150 mobile hoist at the house but the bath is fully built-in so the hoist legs cannot pass under or around the bath.  Modifications to the bath or bathroom are not possible hence the need to lengthen the lifting arm to extend beyond the front wheels.

Thank you.

If you’re able to help, please sign up for an account and leave a comment on his original post. Thanks all!

Dec 072018

Dog Aid, a charity which trains assistance dogs for the disabled have many clients who struggle with undoing the dog harness fastener. They have tried ‘push to click and squeeze to release’ and Velcro and both are difficult for some users. Does anyone know of a suitable actuated fastener or any other ideas? Comment below!

Nov 282018

Hi all!

Two tasty ones for you today. I was at the OT show last week and we ran a ‘Challenge Remap’ activity. The results have been…challenging.

Most of the referrals generated are winging their way to the nearest panel as we speak. However, we’ve got two cases still in the office where the local panel have said they can’t help. I know how much you all like an impossible challenge, so I thought we’d put them up here before admitting defeat.

The first is for a lady in North London who wants to keep knitting after her stroke. She can use one of her arms, but her vision isn’t great and (if I remember correctly) her fine motor skills in her good hand may not be the best either.

The second is for a gentleman in Surrey who can’t use either of his arms and wants to be able to toilet independently – including pulling trousers up and down.

Do give us a shout if you fancy either of these and we’ll put you in touch. Thanks all!


Nov 232018

Any suggestions that could be done by non-Remap people would be helpful.  At the moment we don’t have a group close to Cardiff although we are working on it.  If anyone in that area can help – great!

Georgina writes:

I am writing on behalf of a client. I am a student occupational therapist in Cardiff Community Services.

My client is having problems with their stair lift. She is under 5ft and the foot rest is too low for her. She is unable to rest her feet flat on the foot rest which is also affecting her sitting position in the chair. She feels unsafe when using the stair lift and would like the foot rest to be padded out or raised if possible. I have attended a joint visit with the stair lift providers and they are unable to modify the stair lift any further or provide another more suitable chair lift.

Thank you for any help or advise.

Kind Regards

Georgina Wardle

Nov 162018

Ashley of Essex North writes:

I wonder if you could ask the Remap community if anybody has had experience of this sort of head brace. Or indeed made one.  I have been helping a Client for a few years now who can’t wear a collar and this would appear to be just what she wants but I have my doubts.

Nov 122018

One of our Instagram followers asks:

Anybody got any experience with prosthetics for tool-use?

I have two students with hypermobility that means using a tenon saw is ~70-80% chance of dislocating a thumb.

I am thinking of some sort of brace, similar to those used for carpel tunnel syndrome, but with the metal bar extended somehow, with some sort of bracket to transfer the forces to their forearms.

The two pictures here are as far as I have gotten.

Problem: this feels like a job for 3d printing, but I lack access to a printer.

Is it possible I am reinventing the wheel – does such a device already exist? (Feel free to share this with anybody that might help)

Thanks all!


Nov 082018

Bob McKay, South Wales Remap, would like advice on CAD packages please.  Free if possible!

There are obviously many CAD packages on the market at many different prices but I suspect there is a “basic” package free or for a modest outlay which would suit the amateur.

The magazine Model Engineering Workshop ( are enabling a 6 month free trial of the “Alibre 3D CAD” package but as their package is expensive when the trial is finished, the introduction may be rather frustrating.   (Details of the offer are in the November issue of the magazine). On the other hand, it an opportunity for members to play with CAD at no cost.