Remap members may be interested in an innovation by a client of Isle of Wight panel. Their client, Matt was a lecturer in engineering and welding at the Isle of Wight Technical College before he sustained a spinal cord injury which now prevents him from standing, walking or sitting for long periods.
He was given a reclining wheelchair, which he found unstable and impossible to self-propel for anything over 50 metres, because of his position in relation to the wheel rims.
Matt first designed some stabilisers and had these fitted, then turned to designing levers so he could propel himself. Matt says “The original design concept came from a boiler valve spanner, that locked the drive wheel and extended the amount of leverage in a ratchet like motion”.
These levers enable him to propel the chair for up to a mile on flat ground as well as 4 inch curbs with the result that he can now get out and about independently. David Potter of IOW panel helped him improve the design which now has a braking system included. Although lever driven chairs are available, Matt’s lever adaptations are interchangeable between all chairs with between 450mm and 500mm diameter drive wheels. Matt is happy to share technical details if anyone is interested – contact Central Office.