As National Chairman of a charity with thousands of members living with disability, it was good to read about Rachael Wallach designing bespoke wheelchairs. Such customisation is recognition that one size does not fit all and the different needs we have when it comes to mobility. The British Polio Fellowship responded to this need by supplying our members and others with powered chairs at affordable prices. Innovative design matters but the first need is for a product that as many as possible can use and afford.
The World Health Organisation says 70 million people need a wheelchair, yet eight out of ten can’t access one that meets their needs. Our members, like 120,000 others in this country, live with Post Polio Syndrome, (a neurological condition) and many of them could gain a new lease of life from a powered scooter, yet do not qualify on the NHS. Our aim has been to recognise this by supplying an affordable alternative.
We wish Rachel and her company Disrupt Disability every success. 3D printing and bicycle tech is the future and the more working in this field, the better chance of people being able to afford not simply a functional wheelchair, but one that better reflects their personality and their lifestyle. The British Polio Fellowship can be contacted on 0800 043 1935 or visit www.britishpolio.org.uk
National Chairman, The British Polio Fellowship