This Organization is Helping to Fix Your Wheelchair’s Joystick

Most people are intrigued by technology because there’s always new and improved innovations available almost every day. When it comes to adaptive technology, we’re intrigued because of the differences it can mean for the disability community.

Some of the latest technologies that could end up having an impact on the disability community include products like new wheelchair designs, exoskeletons, and even apps that can help wheelchair users get around.

But new technologies aren’t exactly the most accessible or affordable products, which can pose a problem for many individuals within our community. According to the World Health Organization, this rings true for roughly 9 in 10 individuals living with disabilities, which roughly equates to 900 million people worldwide who require some type of funding assistance.

One Australian organization is looking to make a change and bring more affordable, accessible technologies to people living with disabilities, so they can live more independent lives.

Introducing AbilityMate

AbilityMate is an organization that facilitates invention marathon events called “make-athons” that have an end goal of finding solutions for common problems people with disabilities face. The make-athons bring together people with disabilities, their caretakers, designers and inventors who take ideas, build prototypes and produce finished products.

The brainchild of co-founders Johan Du Plessis and Mel Fuller, AbilityMate is an open source solution that brings 3D printed technology to the masses.

Some of the products that have been created by participants at make-athons include eating and drink aids, office solutions, personal care items and wheelchair additions, like joystick toggles. Some of them are even for sale in the AbilityMate online shop.

Changes for a Community

While AbilityMate and their make-athons are located and take place in Australia, it’s thought and innovation in this capacity that makes a difference for the disability community as a whole.

At Rollx Vans, we know the importance of organizations like this for our community. That’s why we donate a portion of every wheelchair van sale to partner organizations looking to make a difference for our customers. With every new technology that’s made available to people living with disabilities, we know that we’re one step closer to bettering lives.

What do you think about AbilityMate’s mission and events? Do you wish there was a local organization doing the same? Comment below to join the conversation!

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