Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Customized rolling seat spares family from injury

Photo of Norma
Norma shows of the new rolling seat from outside the
Assistive Technology Lab in Logan.
What do you get when you combine a tiny bathroom, two conscientious parents and growing young man with multiple disabilities who uses a wheelchair?

Unfortunately for the Martinez family, it was an injury waiting to happen. It was important for them to bathe their son daily, but getting him in and out of the small bathroom space was dangerous for them and for him. Norma Martinez said they tried chairs designed for the bath for her son Gabe, but they were still unable to make it work for him in the space that they had. So they turned to the Assistive Technology Lab on the Logan Utah State University campus for a customized solution.

photo of Dan in the lab
AT Lab employee Dan O'Crowley puts on the finishing touches.

The AT Lab specialists designed a rolling seat that could be used to transport Gabe down the hall to a larger room with a Hoyer lift--a piece of equipment that lifts people into wheelchairs. They use towels to lift him out of the tub--an arrangement that spares them back strain.

"The chair worked out great," she said after giving it a test run. "We have more ideas to make it even better."

That's what the AT Lab does: find customized solutions for people with disabilities--usually for the cost of materials. You can find out more on the Utah Assistive Technology Program website. UATP is part of the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University.

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