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MEND - Equipment Design

The Sealander

The beach sealander

This plastic moulded wheelchair is tough, water-friendly and non-rusting. Made from ultra-violet-resistant plastic with nylon wheel bushes, stainless steel axles and aluminium tube footrest, the Sealander can be immersed in salt water without damage. This wheelchair suits bathing and use on beaches and can be fitted with a commode/toilet.

The Sealander is available in three models with seat width of 15".

MEND can supply the Sealander moulds & license and setup technology for local manufacture in any country.


The "BEACH' model is fitted with 10" and 14" diameter plastic wheelbarrow wheels and wide 4" tyres for traction on sandy and bush terrain. The front wheels are fixed.

The standard Sealander has 24" diameter plastic wheels and solid rubber tyres, eliminating punctures. Castor wheels have 8" diameter solid tyres. Axles are 0.5" stainless steel rod.

Note: Regular cleaning to remove sand will stop damage to axles

Tricycles:

On the occasion of the 21st World Congress of Rehabilitation International, WHO, the US Agency for International Development, the International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics and Disabled Peoples' International have launched an important new document:

Guidelines on the provision of manual wheelchairs in less-resourced settings (.pdf)

A girl riding her new tricycle in South India

Sketch of a racing tricycle

In Sri Lanka and South India (1999) and Nepal (2000) MEND developed prototypes of children's size tricycles using locally available steel tubing, 20" BMX bicycle wheels and a plastic seat. 

Costing $50US in materials this tricycle can be pedaled and steered using both hands. 

Tricycles can be made in a small workshop in a few hours.

Tricycle users can travel long distances over flat country -- often 50 kms a day!

Venturing out in public with dignity in South India

Mobilis Hand Tricycle (No longer available)  
The Sun HT-3 Adult Hand Tricycle (Click for website)  
Motivation Hand Tricycle (Click for website)  
Indian hand driven tricycle for facilitating easy movement of handicap people from one place to another. These tricycles are specially designed for easy maneuvering. (Click for website)  
   

Walkers

12-year-old Fijian girl taking brave new steps.

A walker can help a disabled person become mobile, is good for exercise and encourages independence. 

Our standard walker can be made locally and can be fitted with a fold-down seat and back harness. With her new walker, this 12 year old Fijian girl has now regained some independence..

Costing as little as $10-$20US walkers can be made of wood, steel and aluminium tube, fibreglass and plastic.

A young boy in Nepal resting by sitting on his walker.

'Islander' wheelchair

Going to the beach and into the sea in an  'islander' wheelchair

It can be scaled up to suit any user's weight. Wheelbarrow or wheelchair wheels can be fitted. This disabled man (see right) has adapted a towbar to his Islander wheelchair so that he can be towed by a tractor along the beach into knee-deep water, to enable him to swim.

This 3-wheel design can also be immersed in water and used outdoors on beaches and for bathing.

Towbar fitted onto an islander wheelchair

Trolley / Gurney


This aluminium trolley design combines a commode/toilet for a disabled person who has difficulty sitting. A Bucket is placed underneath and it all can be washed down, there being no parts to rust. 

The 12" diameter wheels use inexpensive nylon bushes (50 cents each) that can be replaced without any technical skill.

Andrew, a volunteer, demonstrating on a gurney.

The seat is made from trampoline material and laced onto the frame. 

This trolley can be used on on beaches and for bathing too. 

The sloping base suits comfortable outdoor sunning and stretching out of legs.

Weight is about 8 kg.

A little girl happy to be taking a ride on a trolley

Low-cost Wheelchairs


Using a solidly welded frame and a single front castor wheel this design is cheap to build and sturdier than folding models for rugged areas.

Note: A wheelchair with 3 wheels is often more stable than 4 wheels on rough ground as all wheels touch the ground.


Seating can be made of leather, nylon webbing, car tyre inner tube, ply & foam or plastic.

Cost to build in India is about $35-$40US.

Children's size uses 20" diameter BMX bicycle wheels, while adult's size uses 24", 26" or 28" diameter back wheels.

Note : Ordinary bicycle wheel axles are 3/8" diameter and if used, an outer support arm is necessary. 

If the hub is replaced by a 0.5"diameter axle (as on rickshaw wheels) it can then support user's weight.

Boy in a wheelchair at the Hospital for REhabilitation of Disabled Children, Nepal

an islander wheelchair

Pedal Car

Driving a Pedal Car along the beach.

This vehicle can be propelled by hand or foot, or small gasoline or (solar) electric motor. It can enable a disabled person to travel with another disabled person, their family or caregiver. Luggage and goods can be transported as well as passengers. 

This design protects the cyclists from both sun and rain, and from other vehicles. It is constructed of steel or aluminium tubing and standard bicycle parts and 20" diameter rickshaw wheels. Cost to make is about US$150 in steel or US$250 in aluminium.

Note: MEND is developing a plastic pedal car that will be suitable for urban use and also pedalled by hand of foot.

Fibreglass Wheelchairs

Rae in a fibreglass whelchair

Developed to be made and used in the Pacific Islands where fibreglass is much used for building boats these wheelchairs are tough, even the wheel rims can be made of fibreglass, minimising the importation of additional materials.

Costing $250US to make they are produced in two sizes in the Solomon Islands using 20" solid-tyred back wheels for children and 26" mountain bike wheels for adults.

Children-sized fibrelgass wheelchair

Bed / Wheelchair

        

This design was developed for the poor for whom their wheelchair can be both a means for mobility during the day and a bed at night. 

In India many disabled people must sleep outside and it is cleaner for them to sleep on their wheelchair. The back folds down for sleeping or folds forward for packing.

Beach friendly Wheelchair (Australia) Photo: Couriermail

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MEND: Mobility Equipment for the Needs of the Disabled Kerikeri, New Zealand e-mail:  mend@xtra.co.nz  © 2011 - 2012
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