There are so many important new products being developed in the mobility lifestyle realm right now. We want to help fuel this momentum of innovation by sharing some exciting new inventions for you to consider, and new inventors for you to be inspired by!
1. Students Care is a non-profit service that pairs volunteer college students and students with disabilities to help support their integration into the college community. The goal is to create a better college experience for students with disabilities through supportive relationships and student care.
This inclusion model was founded at the University of Iowa by quadriplegic Micheal Penneman and his friends/co-founders Peter and Jacob. To see how you can start this service in your area or school, follow their Facebook page!
2. If you’re going on a cruise, attending an out-of-town conference, going to a local festival, or just need a mobility device for a few days, Scootaround should be your go-to. They have invented a service that provides rental and delivery options for getting a mobility device delivered to your desired destination.
Whether you are looking to rent or buy, Scootaround can help you with both. They are also the only mobility rental service that gives you an opportunity to rent the WHILL Model Ci Personal Electric Vehicle (pEV), which is a great way to test drive this unique mobility device. Scootaround’s game-changing rental service was created by a resourceful woman who needed a mobility rental solution for when she traveled with her elderly father. Click here to listen to the full story on our recent podcast with Scootaround’s CEO, Kerry Renaud.
3. Our articles on disabled parking abuse are always extremely popular with our readers as this is a BIG headache and heartache for so many. Parking Mobility is trying to change that. As an education and enforcement program founded and operated by the disability community, Parking Mobility is making an effort to address the issue of disabled parking abuse. Mack Marsh, Project Director and inventor of the Parking Mobility app, aims to improve awareness on the impact and importance of accessible parking to enhance people with disabilities’ access to everyday life. Download the app and get involved; even if full enforcement isn’t yet enabled in your area, you can take photos and report those who are breaking the law by abusing disabled parking.
1. Inventor and award-winning designer, Andrew Slorance, invented Phoenix Instinct wheelchair luggage for those who want to travel smartly. As a wheelchair user for 34 years following SCI, Slorance designed Phoenix bags to attach to the back of your chair so you can dash through the airport or parking lot hands and lap free!
All of their bags are compatible with manual chairs (and many power chairs) and move easily with your chair in all directions and on all surfaces, even up and down curbs.
2. The Freewheel, invented by a C6/7 incomplete quad named Patrick Dougherty, is a simple attachment for both powered and manual wheelchairs that turns your chair into a 3-wheeler.
Its design lifts your wheelchair casters off the ground, helping you to roll over curbs, grass, gravel, snow, and sand. It’s also folds for easy travel!
3. A brilliant young man named Daniel Campbell broke his back in college and decided to change the way physical therapy was done for ambulating. The previous methods hadn’t been reinvented in a long time, and just weren’t practical anymore, so he invented a new gait trainer called The Spartan.
Daniel and his company, Renegait, have made this new invention available for personal home use, as well as rehab centers. Check out our recent PUSHLiving Podcast where Daniel explains how he overcame depression after being injured and found a new passion as an inventor and researcher.
4. Wheelchair racing athlete Arielle Rausin invented a revolutionary 3D printed wheelchair racing glove, named The Chief, that’s designed for maximum performance. It’s durable with a flat surface, and its width gives the optimal pushing surface while providing more support than a typical soft glove.
Arielle hopes to make the USA racing team this year and use her gloves in the 2020 Paralympics! The gloves are now manufactured and sold on IngeniumManufacturing.com, so you can get a pair of your very own!
5. Alden Kane was a high school senior at the University of Detroit Jesuit High School when he invented, designed, and engineered a wheelchair stroller for Moms in wheelchairs. The successful prototype took him six months to develop, and was initiated by a special design class he was enrolled in. The device was designed to attach a regular baby car seat to a wheelchair. See the device in action here:
When his invention gained mass popularity, Alden was invited to TEDxDetroit where he was interviewed on how he designed and developed the device. Watch here:
6. “Nature is Wheelchair Accessible” with Extreme Motus’ newest product, the Emma X3. It’s perfect for those who want a fun way to enjoy nature with family and friends as your guide; you can visit the beach, cross the sand, and float in the water! With its folding frame, fat tires, and comfy ride, it’s also an off-road wheelchair to explore terrain that was previously inaccessible.
Extreme Modus is also working on developing a power assisted model with a market release date planned for July 1, 2020. Follow their social media for updates.
7. Based on the urgent need outlined by the World Health Association, Participant Assistive Products is on a mission to create and supply wheelchairs for children through reinventing the way they’re designed. The World Health Association reports that 77 million people in the world require a wheelchair, but only 7 million have access to one. Of the 70 million people who don’t have access to a wheelchair, 8 million of them are children. These kids are missing school and developing potentially fatal deformities because they don’t have a good wheelchair. From Managua to Manila and from Boston to Bangkok, kids need assistive products that fit their needs on a realistic budget.
Participant believes that everyone can have what they need to participate fully in life, and they’re using advances in technology (such as 3D printing) to make affordable assistive products. You can more learn about this world-wide vision on our recent PUSHLiving Podcast with Participant CEO, Keoke King.
8. The story of an accidental invention that was born out of love doesn’t get any sweeter than the X-Ability Bodycoat. Created by Jennifer Harrison to keep her daughter Zoey warm in her wheelchair at recess, the home-sewn body coat went viral when an instructional video for Zoey’s caretakers surpassed 11 million views on social media.
Jennifer immediately knew they had a revolutionary product that could change so many lives. The coat (as well as additional sizes and products) are now available on the Harrison family’s website, https://xabilitystore.com/.
9. Winner of multiple innovation awards, Uri-Go is a wearable bladder sensor invented for those who don’t have the ability to sense when their bladder is full. The team behind this invention includes Mike Brown (spinal cord injury sufferer), Brendan Hale (tech developer), and Dr. Frank Kueppers (urologist).
The group teamed up after Mike Brown broke his back, and had difficulty telling if he needed to go to the bathroom. Instead of waiting for a product that would ease the personal anxiety that this caused, Mike assembled a team and got to work creating a product that helps the millions of people world-wide that are affected by the inability to tell when their bladder is full.
There are endless ideas for products and services that could make our lives easier. Here’s just a few off the top of my head!
- A better transfer board that’s lightweight, travel ready, padded, and slidable.
- More options for wheelchairs that can raise or lower us for easier transfer to beds, toilets, and tables (as they insist on making them too high or too low)!
- Safe clothing that can either cool or warm as needed.
There are so many ways to improve our lives, we just need you and your ingenuity! We need you to get out there, find the solution to a problem, write it down, create a non-disclosure agreement, and then share your ideas with those who can help make it a reality.
You could start with a local college engineering program, or a product designer, or a business accelerator program; even the Small Business Administration can help get your ideas off the ground with guidance and possible funding. You could also join forces with an existing company or manufacturer to develop your idea and provide a legal framework to pay you royalties as the inventor.