Aid for eating and hobbies

As part of the [email protected] program in partnership with Tikkun Olam Makers (TOM), Occupational Therapy (OT) students worked to create human-centred design solutions that can enhance the lives of people living with disabilities, a.k.a the ‘Need-Knower’.

One of these Need-Knowers was Leonard, who has Spinal Muscular Atrophy and finds it difficult to lift and stabilise his arm when feeding himself. As a competitive chess player, he would also like the solution to help him lift chess pieces. Concepts that address Leonard’s need include:

Retractable belt with wrist brace and cutlery holder – a solution of three components: a wrist brace, a cutlery holder to hold utensils in place, and a retractable belt which is mounted below the seat of Leonard’s wheelchair. When in use, the belt is securely draped over Leonard’s shoulder and he can thread his arm through a loop at the end. These components work together to stabilise his arm and allow for a painless feeding experience. Team: Bryce Coward (OT), Joshua Derdge (OT), Roni Arengold (OT), Steve Elford (OT) & Qian He Ho (OT).

The Knight-Sabre Dynamic Arm Stabiliser– an attachment solution for Leonard’s wheelchair which provides support and stability whilst he is using his arm in an extended position, allowing him to avoid fatigue and weakness while playing chess. Team: Emily Campbell (OT), Elizabeth Hosking (OT), Courtney Lyons (OT), Ruby Plancke (OT) & Lauren Turner (OT).

Industry Partner: TOM: Melbourne