Designability’s very first occupational therapist, Jill, had carried out an in-depth study into equipment needs for people with restricted growth, or dwarfism, with valuable input from our friends at the Restricted Growth Association.
One of the main wishlist items which came out of the study was the need to offer handles which would provide children with greater assistance to help them balance when using the bathroom.
It is very difficult for someone with restricted growth to be able to sit on the toilet and they often have to ‘climb’ on. Once on the toilet, there is a risk that they may slip as they do not have sufficient support.
There were a range of toilet grab-rails on the market but none provided close support near the seat within comfortable reach.
“My son [aged 7] has now completely adapted to life with the toilet seat and now refuses to use his potty which, until now, he was happy to use. No other adaptation or device has had any success prior to this.”
We have received lots of interest from paediatric occupational therapists and families alike who are looking for solutions to toileting problems at home and at school for children with a range of physical impairments.
They have been seen as particularly useful at mainstream schools where small cubicles mean that a permanent fixed rail is very difficult. The portability of our handles mean that they can be relocated as children progress through school.
Our Design Process
One of the main priorities for our Toilet Handles was to make them lightweight and portable so that they could be used at home and away. It was also crucial to make something that was discreet and simple.
Our first prototype was two separate handles which hooked over the toilet which we added a spring adjustment to. We then sent it off to a family to try out who reported that they worked well and were good to use.
However, one evaluation was not as successful as we would have liked so we shared them with some occupational therapists to try out with some volunteers. After a broader review, we faced the challenge of finding a fixing system which would secure to a wide range of size and shape toilet bowls.
We added suction clamps on adjustable brackets, a slim line cross bar to sit below the toilet seat and adjustable position armrests which could be removed in order to make the handles flat-pack for transportation.
After this next design review, the updated handles were tried out over several weeks. The arm adjustment was found to be very useful to help hold children in a comfortable, natural position.
Benefits and Features
- Compact design
- Easy to fix and remove
- Integral toilet roll holder
- Secure clamping to toilet bowl
- Dismantle for transportation and storage
- To be used in conjunction with a footstool
- Adjustable handle position
Specifications and Guides
Maximum user weight: approx. 76kg
Standard Size (fits standard toilet pan)
Adjustment widths between rear clamps: approx. 23 cm to 35 cm
Adjustment widths between front clamps: approx. 32 cm to 39 cm
Infant Size (fits infant toilet pan)
Adjustment widths between rear clamps: approx. 18 cm to 30 cm
Adjustment widths between front clamps: approx. 27 cm to 34 cm