An innovative product already helping wheelchair users overseas is being launched in Australia
Designed in Scotland, the wheelAIR cooling backrest cushion helps wheelchair users cope with heat and moisture buildup and will be a welcome relief for people with spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy and other users trying to enjoy an Australian summer.
Using inbuilt fan technology, the device not only cools the back of the wheelchair user, but also reduces their core temperature by removing excess heat and moisture.
Although she doesn’t use a wheelchair herself, Designer and Chief Executive Officer of wheelAIR, Corien Staels says she spoke with wheelchair users and producers, as well as Paralympic athletes to create the product.
“After hearing of the expanse of the problem I was astounded that there had not been an unobtrusive solution before now, we’re living in the 21st century,” she says.
wheelAIR also works to allow better temperature control and more comfort with the cushion offering extra support thanks to its unique blend of foam.
“It’s very important to me that the products I design have real impact on the lives of those who use them.”
The product already has an overseas following it featured on BBC’s Dragons Den in the United Kingdom at the start of this year and is now on the lookout for Australian-based ambassadors.
Double Paralympian and European champion of wheelchair rugby, Michael Kerr says he knew he had to get involved when he learnt of the benefits to wheelchair users, especially those with spinal cord injuries.
“It was fantastic to see such a modern design, it is so important for disability products to be attractive as well as functional.
Model, influencer and public speaker Samanta Bullock says the wheelAIR is a “great idea.”
“It’s going to change the game for wheelchair users. It is high quality and also made with sustainable materials… which sealed the deal for me deciding to represent them.”
Ms Staels is thrilled to bring wheelAIR to Australian soil.
“We are very excited to now be retailing in Australia and helping combat overheating there,” she says.
“With such a warm climate, we know the heat is particularly difficult for wheelchair users when they are out and about.”
“Australia continues to be at the forefront of improving accessibility and inclusion, so an ideal place for us to focus.”
For more information on wheelAIR click here.