Frame enables children with limited or no use of their legs to ski in an upright position
A final year student at Nottingham Trent University has designed and manufactured a unique piece of skiing equipment that is set to revolutionise the sport’s experience for disabled children. Product designer Carl Rodrigues’ new ski frame seeks to reduce the stigma commonly attached to products designed for the disabled.
Current adaptive ski equipment use seated skiing, which is noticeably dissimilar to that of the able-bodied experience. It enables children aged seven to 15 years with limited or no use of their legs to ski in an upright position.
Rodrigues worked closely with DEMAND, a charity that specialises in the design and manufacture of bespoke equipment for the disabled, and Katie’s Ski Tracks, a charity that takes children with disabilities on skiing holiday. His design was successfully used in a recent trip by Katie’s Ski Tracks.
The designer said: “With disability affecting approximately 10% of the world’s population it is important to reduce any stigma associated with specially-designed products, and ensure that experiences are made as similar to able-bodied people as possible.
“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.”
The two charities have been in partnership for many years, designing prototypes of upright ski frames for use by children with disabilities.