Designability, a bath-based design charity, is working on a project to create a stroller widely available to wheelchair users to fill the current gap in the market.
The stroller in a wheelchair will allow disabled parents to move around independently with their young child.
The charity is now entering the final stages of product development and user testing and hopes to have a finalized design ready later in 2022.
As the cost of producing this specialized product is likely to be high, Designability says its goal is to make this wheelchair-friendly stroller available to parents with disabilities through its UK free 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.
This is because research indicates that there are over 4,000 manual wheelchair users with children aged 0 to 3 years old. A removable wheelchair stroller is Designability’s most requested product by people with disabilities looking for a solution.
According to the association, there is no widely available stroller that parents with disabilities can use, which means they are isolated at home or dependent on someone to push their stroller when they are on the move. This can lead to practical difficulties and potentially dangerous and uncomfortable positions, as well as negative feelings of depending on others to date their baby or toddler.
Despite the research, user engagement groups hosted by Designability told the charity they were unable to find a stroller suitable for use with a wheelchair.
The association worked with wheelchair users to find out the main challenges they face when carrying babies in order to create a prototype. It has developed design solutions in terms of fixing mechanism and wheel configuration; it also revised the standards and regulations that will apply to a new stroller for wheelchair users.
The invaluable contribution of parents with disabilities led to the creation of a fully functional prototype, which Designability was able to test in a series of user engagement trials held throughout fall 2021.
Learn more about the project here
Last year, the design charity called on the public to make vital donations to help reduce the backlog of disabled children in need of power chairs by giving them one of its Wizzybug power chairs to borrow for free. Children have faced long wait times due to the disruption caused by COVID-19.