Services for Independent Living (SIL) provides support services Hereford resident Lindsey Muckles, but what it can’t do is provide the technology to develop new aides to make Lindsey’s life a little bit easier.
Step up NMITE, Herefordshire’s new engineering higher education institute, whose staff and students are exactly the people Lindsey need to help with her reablement project.
Students are working under the tutelage of Ian Chapman, to design a range of mouth tools which are vital for Lindsey to help her in carrying out a wide range of daily activities and creative tasks. Lindsey loves cooking, knitting and art, but these tasks are incredibly difficult for her because of her reliance on mouth-held tools. And, while she has used these types of implements for many years, they simply aren’t up to the work Lindsey puts them through!
Lindsey recently attended a full day session with eighteen students from the Corps of Royal Engineers, facilitated by Ian along with NMITE engineering academics Peter Broks and Steve Bertasso. Steve, who is himself a wheelchair user and has a service dog, led the afternoon session, challenging the students to think about the realities of disability and to start thinking about solutions that will work for everyone.
Lindsey thoroughly enjoyed the day and the session evolved into an exchange of experience that really benefitted the students in understanding how a disabled person like Lindsey can overcome challenges to successfully lead an independent life.
Lindsey is now looking forward to the next session when she will get to see the outcomes from the students’ ideas and suggestions for reablement technology.
This partnership working has proved so successful that NMITE and SIL are already working together to identify other needs that can be addressed by the students of today for the reablement technology of the future.