Looking more space-age than the traditionally esoteric wheelchair, a new youth-oriented wheelchair that’s filled with ergonomic features for both the young user and the user’s parents recently made its debut at Naidex 2004, an exhibition of products for disabled people, held in Birmingham, England.
The chair, deemed the “Chunc” by British designer Richard Smith, was originally created for Smith’s own daughter who uses a wheelchair. “”I started working on this three years ago, when [Smith’s daughter], who was then 12, started to have to use a much bigger wheelchair. And I frankly found the products that she was using too heavy, too cumbersome, not really fit for the purpose and quite stigmatizing as well,” Smith told BBCNews.
Aside from a bright, contoured seat, available in a number of colors, the Chunc boasts a high tech, fashion-conscious style, and lightweight construction for ease in maneuverability, all intended to appeal to the user. For the parent of the user, Smith made the chair foldable and simple to pack in the trunk of the family car, and as a bonus to everyone, the chair is adjustable allowing it to grow with the child.
Currently, the Chunc is only available in the Junior model which accommodates a user up to about 120 pounds. Smith hopes to soon produce a model that will allow for a user weighing up to 165 pounds. The Chunc is scheduled to make its U.S. debut at the Medtrade Conference in Orlando, Florida in October, 2004.