A large portion of wheelchair-users are dissatisfied with the mobility devices they are using and have suggested improvements that could be made to equipment.
A new report which surveyed wheelchair-users internationally revealed the top five areas of improvement respondents put forward in the hope of driving change in the sector.
The top five suggestions were devices that allowed wheelchair-users to move around faster (41%); perform regular day to day tasks more easily (37%); feel more relaxed and comfortable with a device that feels more natural and like an extension of themselves (37%); feel more confident and able to socialise and meet with friends (34%); and feel a sense of spontaneity, freedom and independence (32%).
The data hopes to raise awareness of a perceived need for investment and innovation in assistive technology.
It showed that nearly a third of wheelchair users say they have been frustrated because the design of their mobility device felt ‘outdated’ while 90% of users in the UK have experienced pain and discomfort as a result of their mobility devices.
The Toyota Mobility Foundation in partnership with Nesta’s Challenge Prize Centre commissioned the research in order to better understand the day-to-day experiences of wheelchair users as part of the Mobility Unlimited Challenge.
A £3m global challenge was launched in November by Toyota with the aim of changing the lives of people with lower-limb paralysis.
The Mobility Unlimited Challenge is seeking teams around the world to create game-changing technology that will help radically improve the mobility and independence of people with paralysis.