If you’re a manual wheelchair user, imagine being able to reach shelves at the grocery store or cabinets at home, sit at bartops or countertops, have a face-to-face conversation with someone standing up, or transfer more easily into a hotel bed that is up high. And now, there is a company working on developing an accessory that could make all of that a reality.
Levate, while still under development, will be a lightweight, easily attachable/detachable lift accessory that fits on any typical rigid frame, ultralight manual wheelchair. When deployed, it lifts the entire chair up to 18 inches, allowing the user to overcome reach and height-related challenges they come across at home, at work, and at play. And the best part is, it fits on your everyday chair and you can quickly and easily take it off when you're not using it. Of course, when it is attached but undeployed, it folds up under the chair so you can still move around easily.
The team behind this device was recently funded by the National Science Foundation to finish product development and get it into the hands of people who can use it. As part of that process, they're interviewing dozens of manual wheelchair users to understand exactly how this device needs to be designed and how it needs to operate. These will be short, 30-minute sessions to better understand your height and reach related challenges and how this device can help. The feedback and experiences you share will have a direct impact on its design and in getting this device into the world where it can make a difference.
SIGN UP HERE to be contacted about being interviewed to help their nationally-funded research and development project. You can check out what they're working on their web site and you can find the details of their funding from the National Science Foundation HERE.