HandyClix - A one handed lap belt
We are a specialist college working with learners who have a wide range of physical and cognitive disabilities. The idea originated from our Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy and Wheelchair Maintenance departments and their work with learners. Many wheelchair users are often impaired in one hand to the extent of a loss of fine motor control. This means that when a person is transferring in and out of their wheelchair independently they still require assistance to secure a wheelchair lap belt before moving off. This means that a carer or person has to find the end of the lap belt which often means searching for and then fixing it, across a sensitive area of the body. The one handed lap belt will allow users to attach and release their lap belt using only one hand. The universal nature of the belt means it can be positioned on left or right hand side of the chair according to the uses requirements. The belt will consist of one rigid and one flexible component, a safe, but easy release button and a universal fitting so the user can transfer the belt when they replace or upgrade their wheelchair.
Insight & Impact
As a specialist college with 45 years’ experience of working with a wide range of wheelchair users through Physiotherapy, Occupational therapy and Wheelchair Maintenance interventions it has become evident that there is growing reliance on additional support for people who are independent wheelchair users to rely on assistance to secure lap belts. This is usually because the person has only the use of one hand through disability or impairment, but also because they are holding a bag or other item with their other hand. All lap belts currently manufactured consist of two flexible components which require the use of two hands to connect them. The HandyClix lap belt will enable wheelchair users much more independence in work, leisure and at home when self- transferring and particularly privacy when self-transferring in the bathroom no longer requiring assistance to ensure they are safe and secure in their wheelchair. For the user this will engender greater personal dignity, independence and greater ownership of personal safety.
Skills needed for this project
- We will partner with a UK seat belt design and manufacturing company to realise this concept and produce a proof of concept design.