Mar 212018
in use

in use 2
Aluminium mount with detent pin

Tom’s speech therapists were keen that he should have his Communicator with him at all times. The normal arrangement of a shoulder strap meant that he could swing the device, which while he enjoyed doing it, it hardly facilitated its use, and was distracting both to him, his teacher and classmates.

An activity camera chest harness was modified: the elastic waist strap was shortened and the shoulder elastic straps replaced by normal 25mm nylon webbing. The plastic camera mount was replaced by a aluminium backing plate to support the hinge mechanism with a 90 degree movement and removable detent pin.

A Velcro strap retains the Communicator in its folded up position when not in use.

A bespoke mount was created to hold the Communicator utilising the integral strap mounting bars. With the detent pin removed, the Communicator can be detached and used independently. The functionality of the flip out stand is retained.

Finally a pocket was added to the harness to hold Tom’s ever present model train.


Berkshire Panel Job BK2017/57.

 March 21, 2018  Posted by at 08:48 Communications - Reading, Writing etc Comments Off on BK2017/57 – Communication aid harness
Mar 152018
Buggy with steps in position
4 Transit position Transit wheels in use
Several of the children at a special school arrive in  MacLaren buggies which are quite high and they are unable to climb in and out of them. Because of their height and the fact that the seat is angled back, the children struggle to reach the buggy footplate. To encourage them to be as independent as possible, a set of portable steps is required.

After experimenting with a prototype, these attractively painted steps with adjustable height handrails were made. A pair of wheels enable the steps to be easily moved.

Berkshire Panel Job BK2017/77.

 March 15, 2018  Posted by at 14:44 Children's Equipment - Development and Play Comments Off on BK2017/77 – Buggy steps
Feb 252018
Rails at top of stairs …

… and with board in place
Bottom of stairs
A mother of three autistic children requires robust gates at the top and bottom of her stairs to prevent falls. Standard stairgates for toddlers are not high or strong enough.

A pair of rails have been fitted at both the top and bottom of the stairs. A simple plywood board is located in one of the pairs of rails as required. There are no hinges or catches; it relies on the friction in the slides to prevent unauthorised use.

Berkshire Panel Job BK2018/19.

 February 25, 2018  Posted by at 12:43 Children's equipment - General Comments Off on BK2018/19 – Stairgates
Feb 252018
In use 
Platform configured to provide lower height
Platform in raised configuration
Platform disassembled
ReTurn in normal use for comparison

The ReTurn aid is used both for transfer of children from a sitting position, but also as a physio aid to stretch their ligaments and improve posture. The users come in all sizes, with corresponding differences in their support wheelchair and school chairs.

The requirement was to provide an adjustable height modification to the ReTurn aid, including heel support to help promote a flat footed posture.

On trials, it was determined that only two different heights would be required. A nesting set of two block platforms was developed, attached to the ReTurn platform via a cross hatched Velcro scheme to allow fore, aft, and lateral adjustments without the need to ensure the male and female strips where aligned on top of one another.

In the stacked configuration, dowels force correct location, and two over-centre clamps ensure rigidity.

The back plate is removable, both to allow ease of use, but also to accommodate the 180 degree placement of the upper platform when stacked.

Two eyehole brackets and clamps provided to allow the standard restraint strap to located higher when the block platform was in use.


Berkshire Panel Job BK2018/03.

 February 25, 2018  Posted by at 11:48 Children's Equipment - Mobility and Support Comments Off on BK2018/03 – Modify ReTurn sit-to-stand aid for child
Feb 152018
IMG_0950 Small The standard commodes available are of the wrong height for the client’s toilet bowl and, because she favours one side when getting up, tip over sideways. The tiled floor and under-floor heating mean that the commode cannot be bolted down.

The wheels were removed from an otherwise suitable standard commode and feet added. The feet were bolted to aluminium plates to increase the sideways stability.

Berkshire Panel Job BK2018/13.

 February 15, 2018  Posted by at 10:13 Personal Toilet Comments Off on BK2018/13 – Adjust height and stabilise commode
Feb 152018
DSCF7541 The client struggles to get up from a wheeled garden seat when gardening. The handles on the seat are too low and the seat moves sideways when getting up.

A pair of free-standing handles provide the required height and their bases act a brakes on the seat.

Berkshire Panel Job BK2018/18.

 February 15, 2018  Posted by at 10:05 Leisure Activities Comments Off on BK2018/18 – Handles for wheeled garden seat
Feb 062018

Client is a 9 years old with joint problems, they cannot bend down to pick things up and has weakness in wrists and hands. They have tried 2 different sorts of “pick up sticks”, neither useful as mechanical system offers to much resistance.

So I decided it would have to be some sort of electromechanical system. After a little thought I decided a Robot gripper (used by amateur builders of robot arms) would be a suitable solution. This was sourced from the internet. Next was a suitable power source, I decided this should be easy to maintain so I pressed into service a USB power pack as this would be easy for the client to charge.

The whole assembly was made from plastic electric conduit, and after fitting two switches (one to open, one to close) with a suitable circuit the unit was up and running.

The client used it first time with no problem and was able to pick up and pencil with ease and later a heavy pepper grinder.




 February 6, 2018  Posted by at 16:17 Household Equipment, Uncategorized Comments Off on Power Assisted Picker
Jan 312018
in place
New rail
side view
Side view
bracket Rail
and feet
stabilising foot
One of two feet added
To suit the changing condition of the client, the arm rest used during the client’s transition from wheelchair to armchair (made under job BK2017/42C) was modified.  The electric raiser chair was too unstable for the new rail to be fixed, as the locking castors still allowed the chair to move under load.

Two additional feet were added to the steel base frame and a new rail fixed.

Berkshire Panel Job BK2017/80.

 January 31, 2018  Posted by at 11:47 Chairs and Chair Accessories Comments Off on BK2017/80 – Handrail for riser armchair
Jan 212018

The client is 25 years old and lives in a “supported living “group apartment.

His main disability is C. P. and he has poor eyesight.

Where possible he wishes to undertake tasks in the kitchen, so he feels more independent although he recognises that supervision is always needed.

One particular frustration is the inability to lift hot dishes out of the oven.

The mid-height oven on the left has a side hinged door on the left.  To the right is the end of the worktop approximately 8 cm. lower than he bottom shelf of the oven.

The solution was the construction of an elevated slideable metal frame with an 8cm. high cantilevered top shelf. The top shelf was made from the grill of a barbeque retained by the Easifix. The frame is guided on the side and top with metal runners.

When pulled forward this top shelf is the same height and extension as the bottom shelf of the oven. A flat metal plate is slipped across the gap between the two surfaces to form a continuous flat surface.

This enables the client to slide hot dishes away from the oven and onto the frame without lifting them. The bridging plate can be unclipped, and the frame pushed back on the worktop.  When cool the dishes can be lifted down onto the worktop.

When not in use along with the oven the frame serves a second function as a trivet for the hotplate to the right of the frame.


 January 21, 2018  Posted by at 17:23 Household and Environmental Fittings, Household Equipment Comments Off on Oven to Worktop Transfer Mechanism
Dec 192017
IMG_2684 Padded dish …
IMG_2685 … mounted on client’s stand.
A trombone player requires a support to take the weight of his instrument to allow him to continue playing after a stroke.

A simple padded dish (a repurposed dog feeding bowl) was fitted to the client’s trombone stand with a length of threaded rod (to give height adjustment).

Berkshire Panel Job BK2017/75.

 December 19, 2017  Posted by at 08:27 Leisure Activities Comments Off on BK2017/75 – Trombone playing support