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 do not 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.
Keoke King is working towards changing this.
We were delighted to have Keoke join us on PUSHLiving Podcast to discuss the goals of his organization, Participant Assistive Products. Participant makes affordable, easily transportable wheelchairs for children. They’re shaking up the wheelchair market so that everyone, everywhere can participate fully in life.
Most of the necessary technology already exists to make this possible, it just needs to be made in a way that is durable and affordable. Keoke’s goal is to use a democratized system with his for-profit corporation to make wheelchairs available to all.
Democratizing a product means that it’s not only for the elites and the wealthy, it’s for everyone. Basic wheelchairs are available everywhere in the world, but customized wheelchairs that fit the users’ style, body, and terrain are only available in the US, Europe, and Japan. That’s what Participant is working on. They want to make affordable chairs that perform well in all user’s environments.
LISTEN TO THE PODCAST HERE
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Listen to our in-depth discussion with Keoke King to learn:
- How long Participant has been working on their first postural support, tilt & space, pediatric wheelchair product, and when it’s set to launch.
- The astonishing low price that Participant has been able to manufacture this first product for low-income governments, and how they’ve been able to bring it to the US market at half the price of comparable chairs.
- How they decided the first product they would create based on the World Health Organization’s identification of 50 high priority products for governments that are starting to provide for people with disability.
- What makes Participant’s wheelchair different, and how it’s making a difference in the lives of children, and the people who care for them.
- The advantages of tilt & space designed wheelchair
- The benefits of not being a charity, but being a for-profit company.
- What it means to be a B Corporation, and why it works so well for Participant.
- How Participant is achieving their status as a company that services the “global community”
- How their product being made, where it’s being manufactured, and how it is customizable.
“For us as product developers, we want users to have choice so we can see what they chose to spend their voucher on. So then we can move more in that direction.” – Keoke King
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