what equipment do we want designed?

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We have had an enquiry from a well known design team, who would like to know what items of equipment disabled parents need designing or redesigning. Please post ideas here, I know there are plenty of things that would make life easier, and if you can email me on lisa@dppi.org.uk. Thank you.

-- Anonymous, September 11, 2002


A few times recently I have been approached about using the shopmobility service in my local town centre. When I point out that it is not possible to use on of their scooters with one or both of my little ones in tow they don't really know what to say. Some kind of scooter with an extra seat or two (preferrably up front) would be very good, especially if it didn't mean increasing the length of the vehicle. Also a seatbelt for wheelchair users babies - My daughter is now too big for a baby carrier but would need something to keep her on my lap when using the chair. When my son was a bit smaller I used walking reins but with the rein looping around my body to hold him on. This was good for him but sometimes meant that I hurt my back when I had to stop suddenly. An adaptation of the popular Buggyboard - I use one on my chair for my son but I think it can be easily improved upon by making it a better fit for the height of the wheelchair frame and maybe using pneumatic wheels instead of hard plastic - better for the passenger. If these things are made up I would love to be a 'guinea pig!'

-- Anonymous, September 14, 2002

I second that notion about the shopmobility scooters. My son is now four months old and since he's been born I've been unable to use the scooters anymore as there's no way of 'strapping him to it'. This renders me using my hefty pram as a glorified zimmer frame. What I would like to see is a 'baby's seat' on the front of a certain percentage of the scooters, like the one's on supermarket trollies (for small babies - not toddlers). The fact that nothing like this exists already only goes to affirm the fact that the general consensus is that 'people like you don't have children'.

Also. My balance is poor and I can only walk slowly. For this reason, I had to fork out nearly 300 on a fancy 'all terrain' wheelchair just to have a handbrake. I wouldn't leave the bungalow without it for fear of the pram 'running away with me' down a hill in the middle of a busy road. Why don't most prams/pushchairs have this 'handbreak' anyway, it's just like the ones on a push-bike and so can't be that expensive or complicated to fit.

Just some ideas for the time being, but could probably think of 100 more !!!


Maria Lovell

-- Anonymous, September 15, 2002


I had the same problem with getting out with my son and my scooter but I managed to find a solution that worked for us.

When my son was 11 months old I got my first scooter and I wanted to find a way in which we could leave the house on our own. On the advice of Lisa at the DPPI I got in touch with REMAP and I spoke with their local representative. He suggested some kind of modification like a cycle seat to fix to the back of my scooter. After this conversation I was experimenting with a framed baby backpack just to see what it would be like having my son sit behind me, and to my surprise I found that it fitted!

My scooter is a Freerider Companion 3 wheeler. The seat has no head rest and quite a short back rest. I hooked the backpack over the arm rests so that the straps went over the back rest (instead of shoulders). My son faces forwards just as if I were wearing the back pack. I tried my son in it and found it was very secure. I took it for a test run with my husband walking behind us just to make sure it was safe and it was, even going up and down drop curb and on inclines.

The first backpack that I used was a Tomy Dream Rider which I had bought second hand. It worked quite well but it is only suitable up to 2 years and being made of cotton it wasn't practical in wet weather. Recently I bought a GS30 which can carry a child up to 4 years and I also bought a rain/sun canopy so we can still go out even if its raining. We had to make a small modification to make it fit and allow my son enough leg room (4 plastic pipe clips and 2 blocks of wood!) but it works really well and should last until my son is old enough to walk on his own by my side.

It has given me and my son a new found freedom, we can get to all kinds of places on our own now and my son loves it! I just wish I had a pound for everytime someone said "Oooh, I've not seen one of those before - what a good idea!"

I'm not sure if this solution would work with other scooters or be allowed on shop mobility scooters but I just wanted to say that it can be done!

-- Anonymous, September 20, 2002

Baby equipment. Many people with impaired hand function struggle to operate 3 and 5 point harnesses on slings, car seats, buggies etc. There are limits on how existing equipment can be adapted without affecting safety warranties, but there is a complete lack of accessible equipment on the market.

-- Anonymous, January 16, 2003

I have been asked if there is any cover ie Canopy for a scooter that acts like a converatable on a Pride Scooter and if not could one be produced

-- Anonymous, February 20, 2003

I am blind and would love to see an attachment handle that could be clamped onto the front of any standard stroller so that I could pull it behind me. Because every stroller out there accept the carriage/stroller models have non swivel wheels on the handle side of the stroller, they don't track properly and are extremely difficult to use on the curving, winding roads that surround my house.

-- Anonymous, March 24, 2004

As a Pram and Pushchair Manufacturer, I was very intereted in the comments already posted. We ourselves perhaps have been as guilty as the other manufacturers in not addressing the issues parents, especially disbaled parents, may have.

"RETRUS" as a brand name has been very prominent within Eastern Europe and not so much within Western Europe. With the entry of new Countries into the EU from May 1st 2002, "Returs" will become an EU product. I have spent hours trawling the internet looking to see what the public really want from a Pram or Pushchair. It has become very obvious during the research that there is a need for a manufacturer to produce to the end users expectations and not force a design which the end user has to settle for as being the nearest configuration to what they really seek.

With all the above in mind, what we are seeking is direct input from the user - tell us exactly what your requirements are, tells us wht you feel is missing from the current market, let us know about current pricing levels or better still, design a Pram and Pushchair and let us consider its production.

Some of the suggestions made by this community have already been sent to our techincal planners and will be incorporated in the existing and next range - let has have some more of your ideas.

Thanks you,

C Pulsakowski Marketing Director Retrus Prams & Pushchairs

-- Anonymous, April 10, 2004

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