View Full Version : Design for disability

22-04-16, 11:54
Hi everyone!

I am a university student studying product design and am looking to design a product that will help make living with a disability easier. Would anyone living with a disability or anyone that knows someone with a disability be able to tell me some of the day to day problems that are encountered (it can be as simple as opening a jar or as complex as driving a car)? Any help would be much appreciated, thank you! :D

23-04-16, 07:04
Thats a bit of a vague and hopelessly wide remit. Anyone on here can tell you of a zillion challenges in daily life. There are already many products on the market.
Let's see, i use an electric can opener, jar-lid opener, temporary ramp (bought off internet & meant for traffic). A grabber which basically picks things up you can't reach.
Day to day problems: changing a lightbulb when you can't stand on a chair. Gardening: when you cannot lift, dig, bend down much.
Getting dressed when your legs don't work and you can't put tights.

Here's a question: how do you stop metal spokes on a wheelchair from going rusty?

23-04-16, 07:23
Here's a question: how do you stop metal spokes on a wheelchair from going rusty?
Hint; this has been discussed on here before-

(I like the clear nail-varnish idea, or even try coloured if you want fancy spokes).

sea queen
23-04-16, 09:36
My daughters wheelchairs never live long enough for the metal spokes to go rusty :rolleyes:

23-04-16, 13:14
If someone could design something to stop walking sticks falling over that would be great. The amount of times I prop mine against something while I'm at a till in a shop or sat in a café/classroom at uni etc and it falls over drives me crazy, and I then have to bend to pick it up unless some kind person does it for me (which they often do). It's the same with my hubby's elbow crutches. I've often said if I was an inventor I'd invent something that either stops them falling over in the first place or makes them spring back upright so us folk with bad knees/hips/backs etc don't have to scrabble around trying to retrieve them off the floor ourselves.

23-04-16, 14:25
I have wrist straps on mine so they just dangle, no need to prop them anywhere

24-04-16, 06:39
I had the wrist straps too, but sometimes you needed to scrabble thru purse/handbag etc and I frequently demolished shop counters by them falling over. Plus having it hang on one wrist was stressing the wrist - you know if you put a key in a door, your lifting your arm - heavy stick hanging off it....

24-04-16, 07:56
All my sticks are very strong and wood but very light weight so dangling from my wrist is not a problem. Bought them from the Ukraine as you can't get anything like them over here.

24-04-16, 08:43
If you go inside any supermarket accessible toilet - 9 times out of 10 you will find the long red vertical string emergency pull cord has been tied up and is out of reach should a disabled person find themselves on the floor and need assistance.

The cleaners like to tie it up while they mop the floor but never release it after cleaning.

Come up with an alternative emergency pull cord system that works!

30-04-16, 09:19
My biggest problem is not being able to cook tea. I'm in too much pain and mentally tired to do it. Microwave meal isn't good enough, their are 3 of us to feed. I'd like to have a way of overcoming that! And the pain!!

01-05-16, 08:10
That must be pricey, sea queen!

sea queen
01-05-16, 10:19
That must be pricey, sea queen!

It is, I reckon she needs a Tank!!

01-05-16, 10:27
I've got something simple that you could design and output via a 3D printer.

The problem.
My radiator in the bathroom is cold despite the fact that the central heating is on. The issue is 'air'. I need to release air trapped inside the radiator. I have a special brass key to unscrew the value and release the air and warm u the radiator.

My problem .
The air-lock key is small and I don't have the grip to twist the key and release the trapped air.

The solution . . .
A plastic 3D printed 'key' that has thumb end sized 'wings' that I could use to help leverage the lock opening my thumb and finger.

What do you think.

01-05-16, 10:32
My biggest problem is not being able to cook tea. I'm in too much pain and mentally tired to do it. Microwave meal isn't good enough, their are 3 of us to feed. I'd like to have a way of overcoming that! And the pain!!

Food preparation is one of my biggest problems as well.
The best the OT could come up with was to give me perching stool, however that doesn't help me use my hands!
I've got various small 'gadgets,' however, it's just not enough to help with the combination of challenges. For the past few years, we have been buying frozen, pre-chopped veg which we put in our kitchen freezer in little tubs that can just be tipped out and have recently started looking into other options that I think will ultimately mean hired help. For the past few years, my OH has been preparing all meals and depending on his shift, leaves them for me to re-heat which leaves me feeling totally dependant and him fed up of doing it all. I also can't lift a lot of our pans and crock pots. Someone recently suggested to me that I should look for silicone microwave pans and mats that he could transfer the food to to make re-heating easier (I struggle to grip some things and have Raynauds and am extremely sensitive to cold and heat.) I don't find it too bad in the winter as we use a slow cooker a lot but no one seems to want a casserole everyday in the spring and summer lol.
I have also started modernising the kitchen, transferring things easy to grip tubs and easy to open jars and I'm also going to purchase a water boiler but have not decided which type yet. We also put a 'lazy susan' in the fridge to make it easier to get to things. Despite me putting all of these things in place, I will still be unable to prepare a meal from scratch but am hoping I can at least start to contribute.
If anyone has any other suggestions that would help in the kitchen, please feel free to suggest. Xx

01-05-16, 11:08
Something like these?

These give even more leverage.

If its a real problem you could replace the radiator bleed plugs with automatic venting valves and never have to manualy bleed the radiators again.

01-05-16, 11:28
Nuked, the brass one with a simple cylindrical rod through the end is the one I've got - it's not fit for purpose.

I only seem to have two radiators that fill full of air.

The radiator value is stiff so wen I try to turn the key the stupid rods end up hurting my finger and thumb the more you try to turn it.

Ideally the self-correcting value sounds great. The next best thing to get easy leverage would be to use a plastic device with butterfly wings that spread the force needed to turn and unscrew the valve to release the air. The butterfly wings each need to be the size of a 20p coin to be effective.

02-05-16, 09:36
Anewbeginning Have you tried frozen veg. sweet's and meat's. It would just mean planning meals the night before youse eat them. t0knee

02-05-16, 09:43
Sorry about that I confused USER NAMES. nod1e