Arkira Chantaratananond, Tony Hua, Jenny Kim
Our goal was to create a customized table for Danny Stickney, who has cerebral palsy, reduced arm range of motion, limited hand dexterity and a cortical vision impairment. Currently, Danny uses a manual wheelchair to get around and the more independence he can acquire, the better!
To move, Danny requires the full use of both arms for propulsion. However, this renders simple tasks like holding everyday items impossible. When Danny uses both arms to travel, we observed items falling off his lap, extreme difficulty reaching items stowed behind him and immobility when holding items in his hands. Additionally, fallen objects were inaccessible without unwieldy pickup tools or the help of strangers. Before this project, Danny held things in his mouth when moving around.
Motivated, our team created a compact, mountable table that can be intuitively and independently used by Danny. Unlike cumbersome solutions on the market, our solution folds elegantly along the side of the wheelchair and doesn’t require disassembly between uses. In both stored and deployed positions, our design does not add volume exterior to the wheelchair. It also doubles as a side guard, armrest, and mounting platform for future wheelchair accessories.
This table has already given Danny (regardless of his visual and motor limitations) more independence. After implementing our solution, other wheelchair users from our community approached us and expressed interest in having the same product for themselves. Now, we are inspired to grow our design towards a larger audience and provide even more independence for wheelchair users.