Hugely successful Design Zone feature at the Mobility Roadshow

An ingenious solution to prevent drink spillage is voted ‘coolest’ product

28 June 2012 – An ingenious silicon cover that adapts to a variety of drinking glasses to prevent spillage while allowing drinking through a straw was voted most desirable product by visitors to last week’s Mobility Roadshow at the Peterborough Arena. Called Safesip it is affordable and simple to use and provides a dignified solution for a disabled user and people with limited grasp, even when lying down, as well as being ideal for children


The runner-up by just one vote was Wheelchair Grippers, silicone grips that cover the push rim of a manual wheelchair to give the user more grip and purchase when manoeuvring. They can help users with less hand strength to use a manual wheelchair and were invented by Paul Lawson, whose wife Diana uses a manual wheelchair, after he witnessed her struggling to propel the chair.


“For too long design aesthetics were often lacking in independent living and mobility products,” said Jacqui Jones, Executive Director of Mobility Choice, the charity behind the Roadshow. “We are determined to keep pressure on manufacturers to push the boundaries and the response from visitors last week confirms that people with disabilities are passionate about good design as well as optimum functionality – and willing to contribute and advise from concept to final product. We are determined to continue to support them.”


The Design Zone, again hosted by Enabled by Design and Such and Such Design, expanded this year to include a café area and a ‘hot desk’ feature where would-be designers and entrepreneurs gained valuable visitor feedback on new concepts for future accessible products.


During the three days of the event more than 50 people shared products they had modified or ‘hacked’ themselves to make them easier to use.


In addition there was a plethora of ideas they would like to see in future. These included a dining table with a removable section to enable an electric wheelchair user to sit closer whilst eating, a hands-free camera mount, cutlery that could be angled, a wheelchair dog lead, a universal strap, collapsible crutches and something to convert cuffless crutches into cuffed ones.



One inventor, who had injured her shoulder from years of repeatedly lifting her wheelchair frame in and out of her car, was able to gain valuable feedback on a new wheelchair stowage device for vehicles, after several manual wheelchair users tested the prototype. These will now be incorporated into the next iterations.  


Sales of two products shown in prototype last year - the Such+Such Bridgit crutch clip and Duo cup holder – were strong. Among the student work on display EVA, the three-in-one personal powered transportation device that a user can stand and sit on and walk with, created much attention – especially as it was available to test drive. Designer Nick Camilleri found this very useful and was delighted to be approached by manufacturers interested in developing it further.


Each day a designer in residence from the Helen Hamlyn Centre at the Royal College of Art spoke about their design projects.


Next year the Mobility Roadshow celebrates 30 years of bringing together the very best in innovation and technology to help people with disabilities, and others of advancing years, to remain as mobile and independent for as long as possible. The organisers have exciting plans for a bumper anniversary event. Keep in touch with the website for news as it develops.

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Comment by Jacqui Jones on July 2, 2012 at 11:21

Thanks administrator, not sure what the problem is, I can see the Roadshow logo, is it too big? Please advise. Thanks,  Jacqui

Comment by bespoken Team on July 2, 2012 at 11:04

Hi Jacqui, thanks for posting there seems to be a problem with the picture if you need some help let me know

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