Bath-based design charity Designability, formerly known as Bath Institute of Medical Engineering, is developing a new wheelchair baby carrier and is now seeking wheelchair users to provide important input to help with the design.

Speaking with Fiona Cromwell, Marketing and Fundraising Officer for Designability, she told THIIS that the charity had previously design a wheelchair baby carrier a number of years ago and is planning to relaunch a new design into the market.

“The aim for our new design is to make it more fit for purpose and hopefully more accessible,” explained Fiona.

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“We hope to look at launching a loan scheme service whereby parents are able to have them for free for as long as they need them. We would obviously look to fundraise in order to make this happen.”

The charity is now appealing for mums, dads and grandparents who have experience of a using a manual wheelchair and being a parent to share their experiences and help shape the outcome of the new product.

“It could be a new parent / grandparent, or those that have older children and have gathered lots of knowledge and expertise on what might be suitable,” said Fiona.

“We are also interested in hearing from healthcare professionals who have an expertise in wheelchairs or specific interest in baby carriers.

“Designability need to understand lots of practical details about how wheelchairs and buggies work or don’t work when used together.”

According to the charity, this research and input stage is the beginning of a two-year programme, with plans to make the first wheelchair baby carrier available in 2020.

Founded in 1968 by inventor Bevan Horstmann and consultant surgeon Kenneth Lloyd-Williams, Designability is an organisation formed of engineers and designers aiming to create life-changing assistive technologies.

The charity has launched a number of innovations into the market over the years, including the Wizzybug, a powered wheelchair designed specifically for children living with cerebral palsy, spinal muscular atrophy, spina bifida or muscular dystrophy under the age of five.

Wheelchair users wishing to participate can attend a workshop hosted by the charity in the Bath/Bristol area or by filling in short email surveys which will be used to inform and guide the project, asking for users’ views about practicalities and potential features.

To find out more, contact Nina Evans at or call the organisation on 01225 824107.

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