Designability has received a Masonic Charitable Foundation grant of £38,250 to help fund the production of fun, powered wheelchairs called Wizzybugs; which are designed specifically for pre-school children. The grant will fund nine new Wizzybugs to be loaned to families across the UK.
Wizzybugs are easy to use and children as young as 18 months can operate the simple controls, allowing them to zip around with their friends and explore the world around them. Designed in collaboration with medical engineers, occupational therapists and families, the Wizzybug not only aids mobility but also allows disabled children to develop spatial awareness, social skills and a sense of independence.
Designability is an assistive technology charity which creates solutions to issues faced by those with disabilities and health care problems by developing innovative new products and technology.
There is often no funding available from the NHS for powered mobility for children under five but without a powered wheelchair, these children cannot move independently and need to be pushed about in manual wheelchairs and buggies or carried by their parents.
A Wizzybug can be used by the child until they have outgrown it, at which point it is returned to Designability, refurbished and given to a new family. With the help of the Wizzybug Loan Scheme, hundreds of disabled young children have been able to develop their own freedom and mobility.
Designability, formerly known as the Bath Institute of Medical Engineering, has been supported by Masonic charity over a number of years with grants totalling over £73,000.