November 1, 2023

Our accessible pushchair will officially launch at Harrogate International Nursery Fair

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This week we will be officially launching our accessible pushchair in the hope of attracting a commercial partner.

Come and see us at the Harrogate International Nursery Fair

The Harrogate International Nursery Fair, which runs from 15-17 October, has been chosen as the venue for the pushchair’s launch. Interested parties are invited to come along and see the prototype in action, with demonstrations held daily. Members of the design team will also be available to answer any questions.

Matthew Ford, Director of Design and Innovation at Designability said: “We’re so excited to finally launch our accessible pushchair for wheelchair users in Harrogate and to show everybody what it can do! It really is a game changer that helps address one of the main inequalities disabled parents and carers face; the ability to take their babies and very young children out independently.”

One pushchair for use by the whole family

The groundbreaking pushchair, which can be used by a disabled parent or carer, or those who are non-disabled, has been designed with mass manufacture in mind.

The innovative design replaces the traditional rear wheels/footbrake assembly, turning any conventional pushchair into an accessible pushchair.

Currently in prototype format, we are now looking for a commercial partner to bring the pushchair to market for the first time and hope that in the future it will offer true independence to disabled parents and carers worldwide.

This pushchair could benefit up to 20,000 people in the UK alone

There are currently no products on the global market that meet an accessible pushchair demand, meaning that parents or carers who are wheelchair users have no safe way to get to the shops or the park independently with their young child. They are either left isolated at home or dependent on a non-disabled partner or carer. This can also lead to practical difficulties, with parents resorting to having their child sitting on their lap, which is often unsafe and uncomfortable.

As well as the practical difficulties, disabled parents have spoken about the emotional impact of being reliant on others to go out with their baby or toddler, and that this means they feel a ‘lesser’ parent. As we all come to term with the long-term consequences from the pandemic of increased isolation and mental health challenges, providing a solution that gives disabled parents independence with their baby and toddler has never been more critical.

Matt explained the inspiration behind the pushchair design: “As a national disability charity, we have been aware of the need for this product for many years. It is our most requested product, and we estimate that there are around 20,000 disabled parents in the UK alone who could benefit.”

“We have been developing the pushchair over the last four years and believe it will transform the lives of thousands of disabled parents and carers, enabling them to live with greater independence.”

Matthew Ford, Director of Design and Innovation, Designability

How this product could make a difference to parents and carers

One parent, Sarah, who took part in recent user testing, explained the difference the pushchair would make to her life:

“At home I can be everything for my children. I can achieve anything. When I’m out that completely changes. To leave the house, I need to find someone to help me push the pram. I can’t just pop to the park or shops – I become a sideline watcher to my child.

“The amount of days my babies wouldn’t sleep, what I would have given to be able to walk them round the block to calm them. It’s like the change when you get your first car, suddenly you are free to do what you want to do, whenever you want to do it.

“True freedom.”

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