New ski frame to help disabled children

27th March 2012, by Chris Gill

ski frame

ski frame

Here’s an interesting little story that gives hope to children with a disability but desperate to experience the world of skiing. A student from Nottingham Trent University, Carl Rodrigues, has designed and manufactured a special frame to help disabled children enjoy upright skiing. And it has already been put to good use with a charity that arranges winter holidays for disabled children.

The idea behind the ski frame is to allow the children to ski without the stigma commonly attached to products designed for the disabled, so as close to the ‘normal’ upright skiing position and experience as possible.

Rodrigues – who spent a year on placement with DEMAND as part of his university course – said, “Along with the needs of the children, a number of other aspects had to be taken into account for the design such as the estimated travel size and weight, the ease of changing the frame from ‘travel’ to ‘in use’ modes, and the user’s comfort. It was great to see the ski frame I designed being used on the slopes recently – I have a few modifications to make, but the initial response was great.”

DEMAND and Katie’s Ski Tracks are two charities that have been in partnership for many years, designing prototypes of upright ski frames for use by children with disabilities. The new frame is suitable for children between the ages of seven and 15 years. As you can see in the photograph, the child can adopt and manipulate the snowplough while the helper keeps control of the system from behind.

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