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Custom-designed adaptations

“Without Remap’s work I would not be able to have Charlotte so close to me all the time.”

In this article, we look at adapted equipment that has been customised for individual parents who are wheelchair users. The adaptations were designed and carried out by the UK charity Remap and the information is taken from its website, www.remap.org

For a parent who is a wheelchair user, lifting and carrying his or her child can be difficult, and is a subject about which DPPI information service receives many enquiries. Adapted equipment may help but there is still little available commercially. Here, we feature some adapted equipment that has been custom designed for use by individual parents.

The UK charity Remap designs, manufactures and supplies items for disabled people, free of charge, where the required equipment is neither available commercially nor provided by the statutory services. In some circumstances, it also modifies existing equipment.

Remap has 90 groups (panels) spread over England, Wales and Northern Ireland. There is also an associated Remap in Scotland.

All the items of equipment described here appear in the Remap 2009 Year Book and also in The Remapedia, an online encyclopedia of past projects carried out by the charity, which may be of interest to both parents and professionals. The Remapedia has a search facility, which enables visitors to look through the catalogue of projects for ideas. For further information visit www.remap.org

Picture of adapted cot
An adapted cot side enables access.

Cot side

Father-to-be David anticipated that he would have difficulty in reaching he would have difficulty in reaching and lifting his baby in the cot when she arrived.

A standard cot was modified by first of all raising it on leg extensions, and then fitting swinging arms to the cot side, so that it could be lifted up and rested on top of the cot ends.

David is now able to move close to the cot and attend to his daughter.

Photo of wheelchair baby carrier
Using the baby buggy fitted to a wheelchair.

Wheelchair baby carrier

Emma relies on a wheelchair but very much wanted to carry her daughter Charlotte with her as she went around the house and the garden and to be able to take her into the local park.

A baby bike seat was used and mounted on a steel tube with the footrest taking the weight. The seat is easily removable. The wheelchair has the strength and stability to take the extra weight of the seat and child safely.

Emma is delighted and said “Without Remap’s work I would not be able to have Charlotte so close to me all the time.”

Photo of baby buggy fitted to wheelchair
Using the baby buggy fitted to a wheelchair.

Baby buggy fitted to wheelchair

Karen wished to fit a baby buggy or a pushchair to her wheelchair. She wanted to be able to connect and disconnect it herself.

The buggy-linking frame connects to the wheelchair by spigoting into the wheelchair footrest fixings. New footrests are incorporated into the buggy-to-wheelchair linking platform. The linking frame is lifted and dropped into the wheelchair footrest fixings using side-mounted screw jacks secured with a cordless screwdriver.

Latches secure the buggy/pushchair frame spigots to prevent detachment. Linkage enables hand operation for the buggy/pushchair brake (which is normally foot operated). When connected, the rear wheels of the buggy/pushchair are lifted off the ground.

Karen can now connect either a buggy or pushchair to her wheelchair – independently and with relative ease. The unit is highly manoeuvrable, stable and safe when connected.

Photo of pram pulling aid
Leah taking her baby out for a walk.

Pram pulling aid

Leah has been blind from birth and, having a young child, wished to be able to take her out for walks. She found that pulling a pram with one hand while being guided by her dog with the other was awkward for her posture. She needed some way of improving her comfort and posture.

Based on an idea in the 2007 Year Book, a towing bracket was fixed to the pram handle. This permitted Leah to pull the pram without having to twist her body. One problem to be overcome was the design of the pram and its folding handle system.

Because Leah is totally blind, there are risks associated with her taking a child out in a pram. Remap therefore pointed out these risks in a safety instruction sheet.

Leah is now able to pull her child in the pram and take her out for walks.


DPPI Journal
67: Autumn/Winter 2009