From the high-tech to the low-tech, the past few years have revealed innovative wheelchair accessories and assistive technologies that help wheelchair users gain independence. We’ve rounded up the top 8 tech accessories recommended for tech-savvy quadriplegics and wheelchair users that add functionality to a power chair and look pretty cool.
tecla-e is a cloud-connected assistive device giving people with upper-body mobility impairments the ability to fully access smart devices and technology that can be used anywhere you go, including iOS, macOS, tvOS Android, Windows, and leading smart home devices. Users can send and receive emails and text messages, browse the web, watch videos, launch and use apps, read books, change the TV channel or turn the heat up, make (or hang up) phone calls at any time using accessibility switches they are familiar with like buttons, joysticks, and sip-and-puff controllers or their wheelchair driving controls.
tecla-e is for anyone who cannot easily use a smartphone, tablet computer or household technology independently. This includes those with limited upper-body mobility resulting from spinal cord injuries, multiple sclerosis, ALS, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, brain injuries, or stroke.
2. Phone Mount
The Tecla Phone Mount is the solution for mounting your handset on your bed, wheelchair, working table or wherever else you may need it in order to access a smartphone hands-free. If you have limited upper-body mobility, and want to keep your iPhone or Android in place while controlling your powerchair or mobility aid, the Tecla Phone Mount will keep your phone secure. The mounting plate comes with an industrial-grade Dual-Lock fastener and it is recommended to attach the fastener to a hard case or shell, rather than your phone. There is also a holster that is designed to fit the OtterBox Defender Holster, which is one of the most durable cases on the market.
The QuadStick is a mouth-operated game controller for Quadriplegics and is available in two models, the original QuadStick and the QuadStick FPS. The goals of the QuadStick are to "provide an inexpensive, self-contained tool that allows the disabled gamer to play video games at a high level and participate as an equal in the social communities that form around them."
The device appears to the game console as a PS3 compatible Gamepad, Mouse, Keyboard and Flash drive. The QuadStick is compatible with the PS3, Android, and many PC games that use a joystick, mouse or keyboard.
The Flexible Mounting Arm Kit comes with a flexible arm with Super Clamp and ball and socket RAM Mount adapter. The mount works well for tables as well as the tubing on a wheelchair.
4. Quokka Bag
Image Source - (Quokka)
The Quokka is an innovative practical carrying bag designed for people in wheelchairs. Where putting your bag on your lap is uncomfortable, and hanging it on the back of a wheelchair is not safe, the Quokka uses an easy snap and click system with an adapter that attaches to the side of the wheelchair. It also features magnetic snaps and ringed zippers for easy open and closing. Its style and functionality make Quokka the most innovative wheelchair bag of 2017.
5. Power Chair Headlights
Image Source - (21st Century Scientific)
21st Century Scientific Lighting Packages feature a 24 volt 20 watt 1900lm CREE headlamp with a weather-sealed aluminium housing. Each package has a switch box that can be mounted on round tubing and cables that will support one or two headlamps and taillights. Not only do headlights make it easier for power chair users to see their path when travelling at night, but make it easier for others to see them too. These particular headlights are nearly as bright as the headlights of a car, making users feel safe travelling independently after the sun goes down.
6. JACO Robotic Arm
Image Souce - (Kinova Robotics)
JACO is an assistive robotic arm with a three-fingered hand that helps people with disabilities independently perform many activities of daily living through the use of the technology. The arm has been designed to accomplish many tasks of daily life such as drinking from a glass, eating a hot meal, opening doors, pushing buttons (e.g. elevators), picking up objects and more. Kinova Robotics has won multiple awards for JACO, including Startup Canada Global Entrepreneurship Award in 2016.
Image Source - (Fleximug)
The Fleximug provides hands-free drinking, designed for quadriplegics resulting from multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, stroke, and spinal injuries as well as wheelchair users seeking assistive solutions for daily activities. Its purpose is to provide independence to wheelchair users who rely on a caregiver or family member to eat and drink. Fleximug's patented air vent makes it easy to use and is suitable for individuals who can move their head freely to one side, and who have good lip control and suction.
8. ADA Lap Wheelchair Tray and Accessory System
Image Source - (Performance Health)
The ADA Lap Wheelchair Tray and Accessory System are designed to assist wheelchair users in daily tasks and activities. The products offer the highest convenience and ease of use than any wheelchair tray and multi-accessory mount on the market.
No nuts or bolts are required to set up the base unit, making it easy to set up. The base is sturdy, adjustable and convenient for access to a variety of wheelchair accessories, including the Lap Wheelchair Tray. The system offers several attachments to the base unit that serve different purposes such as a fishing rod for fishing, a camera mount for taking photos and an umbrella to keep dry hands-free, making it highly functional for all your needs.
Do you know of any cool wheelchair accessories that we missed? Make sure to share them in the comments for all readers to see!