The recent Naidex exhibition at NEC Birmingham heralded a host of great new ideas and innovations for disabled people.
Once again, we were there to meet exhibitors and talk about the products that they were sure would make an impact in the highly competitive disability marketplace. As usual, they didn’t disappoint and it was a pleasure to speak with so many passionate innovators demonstrating some truly incredible gadgets and technology – some of which is most certainly going to change people’s lives, for the better.
It’s also nice to share time with readers, so thanks to all those subscribers as well as people seeing the magazine for the first time that came across to our stand to tell us about what you like about the publication and giving us ideas for future features. Naidex is one of those events where we’re able to meet with a wide audience of disabled people since the event itself is so broad in its appeal.
Something for everyone
There really is something for everyone; be it advice from organisations involved in finance, insurance or travel through to exhibitors showcasing products ranging from small items of adapted cutlery, through to the big WAV converters – it’s all here and that’s surely reason enough to mark it in the calendar for next year.
As well as that, the whole nature of Naidex means that disabled people can move about freely and confidently. Not only is the venue (The NEC Birmingham) large enough to accommodate such a range and number of companies and organisations involved with disability but it’s also highly accessible – meaning that disabled people and their carers can simply stroll around without having to keep an eye open for a suitable pit-stop.
Disability is often very personal and solutions need to fit the user properly. Naidex continues to provide a superb forum where disabled people can feel confident about touching, feeling and ultimately, understanding products, before they make a purchase. Whilst the internet is a clever thing, there really is no substitute for being able to ‘try before you buy’.
Similarly, there are very few opportunities for disabled people to meet with such a broad range of experts gathered together to focus on disability issues. This year’s experts included solicitors, physiotherapists and occupational therapists as well as those on exhibitor stands with years worth of knowledge in very specific areas of disability. The support that these people can give shouldn’t be overlooked and is one of the main reasons why disabled people still like to make major purchases at Naidex rather than having to travel between different showrooms in order to compare models from different manufacturers. Although Naidex might not be on your doorstep, it is surely worth investing the time to come along and discuss your needs with people that have helped hundreds of customers with similar challenges to yours in finding the right solutions.
Naidex is still one of the best events on the disability calendar. Sadly, just like a mirage in a desert, it is fleeting – fortunately it’ll be back next year. See you there!
Naidex continues to provide a superb forum where disabled people can feel confident about touching, feeling and ultimately, understanding products, before they make a purchase.
Able Magazine, Naidex Best In Show Awards 2015
Able Magazine took on the challenge of rating some of the products from the huge range on offer and of picking the winner of the coveted Able Magazine, Naidex Best In Show Award.
The top three placed products were:
Loopwheels are designed to absorb vibration and shock from all directions; ideal for when wheels hit kerbs, for example. The carbon composite ‘springs’ provide exactly the right blend of stiffness and compression required to make for a smoother ride, be they attached to a bicycle or wheelchair. They’ve re-invented the wheel!
Price: £349 each (£695 pair)
5 Stars (Best In Show)
Self Lifting Ramp System
An industry first; the ‘self-lifting’, spring driven ramp removes the need for people to bend down or lift it up. Simple and robust, the ramp system requires no electrics or manual strength to operate.
5 Stars (Best In Show Runner Up)
Aquarius Hygiene Porta Bidet
This is a tidy, neat and portable bidet set. Ideal perhaps for people that travel regularly; simple construction means that it will fit on almost any standard toilet. Simply fill it with warm water and program the desired water pressure (which is then memorised). The rechargeable batteries are designed to last for up to a week.
5 Stars (Best In Show Runner Up)
Specifically designed for independent wheelchair users, the Melody 3 platform lift has automated gates and an integral ramp. It can be installed either indoors or outside. The load capacity is up to 500kg rising to a height of 3metres.
The Maximo is an ultra compact scooter ideal for anyone that wants the performance of a large powerchair but in a smaller, more convenient package. The ultra lightweight lithium batteries and a one-lever folding operation make the Maximo an ideal choice for ad hoc users.
Whilst lots of websites assume that the visitor knows about the sorts of products that are available Telmenow.com is searchable by symptoms and conditions such as diabetes, dementia and epilepsy, for example and sorts and presents options on the innovations and services that can help people remain independent, largely by utilising the correct technology in the home environment.
The powered action is smooth and steady and keeps the user comfortable through ‘forward and back adjustments’ of the leg cushions to provide a better contact whilst they’re standing up. Large castors make it easier to push and manoeuvre in a domestic setting, with the small ‘footprint’ another definite advantage when positioning next to a toilet or chair.
Get Living It
Users of the new ‘Get Living It’ website will be able to create a profile based on their needs. The website will bring up a range of appropriate services and attractions (matched with the profile) that can be used to plan the ideal getaway to anywhere in the country.
Go Gal – Access Portugal
Handpicked restaurants, hotels, transport providers and attractions are packaged together specifically for disabled people looking to enjoy a visit to Portugal. The organisation aims to provide a fully accessible programme of things to see and do.
Isagi have created a crash mat so absorbent that an egg dropped from shoulder height wouldn’t break on it! Furthermore, although it is non-slip it has been designed so that people that cannot lift their feet easily can ‘shuffle’ on it. The material is soft under foot but super-strong under pressure. (It is currently a prototype.)
Price: Around £34
With a narrowed seat depth, the Tyler chair allows for the user to find a healthier seating position – keeping their feet comfortably flat on the floor. The integral pressure relieving cushion is married to an excellent three motor lifting chair which prevents people being ‘tipped’ into a standing position by retracting slightly, rather than being nudged forwards.
A new four wheel drive powerchair that’s small enough to use indoors but that is also prepared to cope with whatever happens to be outdoors, whether it’s rain, snow or ice. (The flexible chassis makes certain that stability is maintained at all times.)
GyroSet is a new integrated wheelchair control platform that enables people with tetraplegia and other disabilities to steer their powerchair and control any other networked service or device with simple head movements.
From: Tel: 0036 303 113 413
A hybrid walking frame and home-helper trolley featuring a new ferule that glides over the floor when pushed and stays put under pressure to prevent falls. (Height adjustable with removable tray to help users get within easier reach of cupboards etc.)
A spoon designed for people with shaky hands. The S’Up spoon scoops food up easily and holds it even when the spoon is tilted to a vertical position.
Price: £25 for two
We can’t always hear the doorbell or get to the door as quickly as we’d like. This doorbell unit vibrates a wrist pendant that the user presses to display a message back on the doorbell unit to ‘Please wait’ whilst they make their way there.
Features pressure relief (silicone hollow fibre) surface cushions with removable washable covers. A choice of backrests alters the seat depth and alternative armrests do the same for the chair width.
Providing a clear and easy to read reminder of time, day and date: specifically for people living with dementia.
Ideal for people with conditions such as motor neurone disease where functional eyes can be used (via tracking cameras), to access computers that network other domestic systems.
A very lean, collapsible compact scooter; the Supascoota has a clever knack of slowing as you take it through corners, to avoid tipping accidents.
The slim-line arm on the hoist creates an extra three inches of space allowing for slightly larger equipment to be lifted through a car boot aperture. It can store your favoured positioning instruction and when not in use sits close to the side of the vehicle’s interior and out of the way.
The procedure is quiet and smooth and the ball and socket insert, where the spreader arm connects, is especially easy to use. (The self cancelling handset is also a nice touch.)
This is a head-turner! You may be surprised to learn that it’s perfectly legal to take on public pavements. It has a 38 stone weight limit with a range of 20 miles and a choice of speeds (4mph or 8mph).
The lifestand is a simple riser that clasps just under the knees and gently lifts users into a standing position.