LIVEResearch Projects

Developing a Pushchair for Wheelchair Users

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A mother using her wheelchair with her daughter in the wheelchair baby carrier

What is needed

Parents who are manual wheelchair users face the practical problem of manoeuvring a wheelchair at the same time as pushing a baby buggy.

In 2018, parents completed a survey sent out by Designability and the responses highlighted the barriers facing parents.

“My wife had to do all the pushing of the pram and I could not help”

Despite looking, most parents told us they were not able to find a suitable pushchair for use with a wheelchair.

Who will benefit?

Although being a parent and a manual wheelchair user is not a unique situation; the level of demand for a Pushchair for Wheelchair Users is currently perceived as too low to be of interest to either commercial wheelchair or baby buggy manufacturers.

The cost of production of this specialist product is likely to be high so, to benefit parents we will make the new Pushchair for Wheelchair Users available through a free loan scheme. This means that parents will be able to borrow one from us, and then return it when it is no longer needed.

Design and development

The first phase of work has been about discovering and exploring the key challenges for wheelchair users when carrying babies and establishing some key requirements. We have had valuable input from volunteer parents who have reviewed early concept designs.

We have developed design solutions in terms of the attachment mechanism and the wheel configuration, and have reviewed the standards and regulations that will apply to a new Puschair for Wheelchair Users.

Product testing with manual wheelchair users is taking place at the Royal United Hospital in Bath throughout autumn 2020.

Next steps

Following the current stage of user testing, we will assess feedback from the user trials.

How you can help

We are looking for volunteers to work with us to develop our new Pushchair for Wheelchair Users.

We need to understand lots of practical details about how wheelchairs and buggies work or don’t work when used together. We are looking for people who have experience of using a wheelchair and being a parent and are willing to share their experiences.

If you are a manual wheelchair user and a parent, parent to be or grandparent, just get in touch and join our informal network.  We will then keep you informed of opportunities to help.

These might be:

  • Sharing your review of our concepts and prototypes by completing an online survey
  • Meeting with us in person, or via a video phone call