Search under way for most innovative disability aids hoping to enter production

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A specialist care group has launched its annual search to find the most innovative new devices which have been developed to aid people with disabilities.

The Blackwood Design Awards recognise the new designs, technologies and adaptations which help people with disabilities to live more fulfilling lives.

The awards are open to both experienced professionals and amateurs, meaning that both technologically advanced and simple but successful designs are competing alongside each other.

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Past entries include a design for a wheelchair that allows users to control its direction with their eyes, as well as the ‘S’up Spoon’, which enables people with shaky hands to eat more easily.

Max Brown, chair of Blackwood Board, said he is “blown away each year by the depth and the quality of the designs entered”.

“[We] are always delighted and proud to give the ideas the prominence they deserve – and to open a path for them to perhaps go into production.

“It’s a privilege to work in a sector where so many people are working incredibly hard to improve others’ lives.

“There’s no idea too simplistic or too extravagant. We’re open to judging on as many designs as possible, as they all play an important role in helping people living with different challenges.”

There are four categories of award; Best Collaborative Project by a University or Institute of Higher Learning, Best New Concept, Best New Accessible Technology and Best New Aids and Equipment.

Brown continued: “People shouldn’t be put off because they’re an independent person with a design, and likewise, we’re always delighted to see the talented entries produced by design students.

“Many previous entrants have gone on to achieve great things so it’s a fantastic opportunity for all budding designers out there.”

Entries last year included a hands-free computer mouse and an in-flight wheelchair.

Entries should be submitted no later than 12pm on 30 March. Shortlisting of entries will be completed by 27 April and if selected as a finalist, entrants will be asked to make a final pitch to the judging panel via Skype or in person.

Tags : Blackwood Design AwardsdisabledequipmentInnovationtechnologyUniversity or Institute of Higher Learning
Joe Peskett

The author Joe Peskett

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