Thursday, December 21, 2006

EasyTrack FS Hoist

The EasyTrack FS is a free standing, versatile solution for all types of point to point transfers - wheelchair to bed, bed to chair, even in the bathroom, anywhere there is a lift and transfer need.

The EasyTrack FS has a safe working load of 440 pounds or 200 kilograms which is exceptional for a portable product and the optional protective carrying bags make the system easy to transport.

The FS system includes an extendable rail, 2 telescoping posts and 2 foot plates.

Portable HoistClick to view Easytrack FS video

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Tories launch website forum for disabled people

The Conservative party have recently launched a new website forum to get feedback from disabled people on the issues that effect their lives.

As you may know David Cameron is the parent of a small child with epilepsy and cerebral palsy. If he is elected Prime Minister it could well be the case that issues regarding disability will receive a higher profile than ever before in the corridors of power. This could be a good chance to get your views across to the policy makers of the future.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Disabled access to town hall row

A DISABLED woman says she was "made to feel like a leper" when she went to Bournemouth Town Hall for her granddaughter's register office wedding.

Wheelchair user Maureen Hayes, 76, is now calling on the council to do something about access, facilities, and disability awareness training for staff.

"The whole thing was unwelcoming and not something I would recommend," said Mrs Hayes, of Southbourne.

After having to go into the building through a back door via a steep ramp, Mrs Hayes needed to use the toilet. She claims the member of staff on duty was unsure where the disabled facilities were located: they turned out to be in an annexe reached by going back outside.
Access to the room where the ceremony was being held was up four steps. Mrs Hayes says the member of staff did not know how to operate the stairlift and suggested men from the wedding party could carry the wheelchair.

After the ceremony, Mrs Hayes claims staff closed the back entrance, assuming that her taxi driver could get her and her chair down the front steps. She was escorted to a lift, but it took another 15 minutes for the member of staff to find an alternative way out of the building.

"How dare Bournemouth Town Hall expect disabled people to have this sort of reception? I accept that it's a listed building, but there's no reason why one side of the steps at the front couldn't be made into a ramp," said Mrs Hayes.

"We're not asking for red carpets, we're asking for the opportunity to live our lives freely. They are discriminating. Had I been a more timid person, it could have wrecked my day."

Helen Rigg, registration and coroner's service manager for the council, said: "We are currently examining ways to improve accessibility to the Town Hall for all people and would like to apologise to Mrs Hayes that her recent visit fell short of her expectations.

"Unfortunately accessibility is limited by the fabric of the old Town Hall building. People who use wheelchairs currently need to use the rear entrance and accessible toilet facilities are in the Town Hall extension."

This article appeared on

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Gemini Ceiling Hoist Track Fixings 185 Kgs

Track Fixings all BZP

10mm x 100mm coach screws minimum of four.

10mm studding minimum of four with 10mm Nylocs.

Maximum track fixing centres:- 1250mm.

Minimum curve radius:- 600mm.

Maximum track cantilever:- 150mm.

Maximum uni-strut fixing centres:- 500mm.

Fixing over roof joists (inc gang nailed trusses)

Supporting Unistrut 40mm x 40mm spanning 6 trusses.

Note:- Additional ceiling reinforcement may be required depending on roof construction. This will be advised by the Representative/Agent.

Fixing into first floor joists

*Minimum joist size:- 200mm x 50mm. Maximum span 3.0 metres.

Joist centres:- 400mm

*(Calculations based on centre point of joist fixing)

Joist centres:- 400mm.

Wall to wall fixings

Maximum length of braced track:- 4000mm.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Gemini Ceiling Hoist Track Fixings 125 Kgs

Track Fixings all BZP

8mm x 100mm coach screws minimum of four.

10mm studding minimum of four with 10mm Nylocs.

Maximum track fixing centres:- 1250mm.

Minimum curve radius:- 600mm.

Maximum track cantilever:- 150mm.

Maximum uni-strut fixing centres:- 50mm. (On Joists).

Fixing over roof joists (inc gang nailed trusses)

Supporting Unistrut 40mm x 40mm spanning 4 trusses.

Note:- Additional ceiling reinforcement may be required depending on roof construction. This will be advised by the Representative/Agent.

Fixing into first floor joists

*Minimum joist size:- 150mm x 50mm. Maximum span 3.0 metres.

*Joist size:- 200mm x 50mm. Maximum span 5.0 metres.

*(Calculations based on centre point of joist fixing)

Joist centres:- 400mm.

Wall to wall fixings

Maximum length of braced track:- 5000mm.

Friday, December 01, 2006

BHM Medical

BHM Medical Inc. has been providing solutions for the elderly, disabled and the organizations or facilities that serve them for over 10 years. Through feedback from caregivers and those who use the lifts, BHM has been able to design some of the best patient transfer systems on the market today. An award-winning Research and Development department continues to improve and develop products that are exported to their team of distributors worldwide.
EasyTrack FS Portable HoistVoyager 4 HoistPortable Hoist
Dolphin are delighted to have reached an agreement with BHM to supply a range of their products which will be a fantastic addition to our product portfolio. Click the following links for more information.

Naidex 2007

Naidex is the UKs largest homecare, disability and rehabilitation exhibition - aimed at healthcare professionals (occupational therapists, physiotherapists, nurses & carers), dealers & distributors, social services workers, care home owners & managers and members of the public who have a disability.

No other event in the UK attracts so many healthcare professionals on such a large scale - 10,418 visitors attended Naidex 2006.

The exhibition is supported by The Disabled Living Foundation, The British Healthcare Trade Association, The College of Occupational Therapists, The English Community Care Association and Therapy Weekly. More information regarding feature areas at the show can be found at

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Independent Living London closes

The following post is a press release from Emap Public Sector regarding the future of Indepndent Living London, or rather the lack of it.

Independent Living London closes to make way for new initiatives at Naidex

Press Release

October 12, 2006

Emap Public Sector has reluctantly announced the closure of Independent Living London - the South East's leading disability event.

The attendance for last month's show at Alexandra Palace dipped below 3,500, despite a huge effort made to improve access at the only venue in London that is suitable for staging such an event.

Two factors lie behind Emap's decision to close the London show; the fall in visitors since 2003 when it still took place at Wembley, and a drop in the volume of exhibitors, which has also diminished since 2004. In 2003 Independent Living London attracted more than 5000 visitors but the following year, while Naidex was increasing by more than 2000 visitors numbers fell by 7 per cent.

"A big effort has been made to try and make Independent Living London work but unfortunately we have to admit that it is no longer a crucial date in the diaries of health and social services professionals and for dealers," said Fraser Murdoch, Emap Group Publishing Director.

Last month's event still generated many 'positives' and Fraser added: "Naidex is already firmly established as the national show and our challenge now is to make that even more of a key event, especially for OTs and dealers from the south-east.

"We intend to explore the options for discounted, subsidised and sponsored travel packages to and from the NEC when that show takes place in April.

"Anyone who saw the moving & handling or Canine Partners demonstrations at Independent Living London, or the packed open-air seminars, will agree that those formats need to be adopted and extended at Naidex.

"Also, rather than simply running a CPD clinic at Naidex, as we have for the last three years, we will look at embedding CPD across all areas of the show, working, if we can, with the Department of Health to really make this happen in an imaginative and compelling way."

There are also plans to re-introduce exhibitor and visitor advisory boards this year so members can help to decide the shape of Naidex 2007.

The closure of Independent Living London will have no affect on Independent Living Scotland, the key deliverer of supplier products and services to the health and social services and trade market, which will take place at the SECC from March 28-29. More information is available at

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Class 3 Mobility Vehicles

Mobility vehicles are classified into 3 categories by the Highways agency.

Class 1 Vehicles: Manual wheelchairs (chairs without an electric motor)

Class 2 Vehicles: Powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters for use on pavements and to cross roads. Maximum speed 4 miles per hour.

Class 3 Vehicles: Powered wheelchairs and mobility scooters for use on roads and pavements. Maximum speed 8 miles per hour.

Owners of Class 3 vehicles do not have to hold a current driving licence. However you do have to drive in accordance with the highway code. Your eyesight must comply with the relevant regulations and you can't drive under the influence of alcohol for obvious reasons.

Class 3 vehicles cannot be used on motorways, bus lanes or cycle lanes and although legally entitled to be used on dual carriageways it is not a good idea. You would feel very small, very slow and very vulnerable if you tried it. If you absolutely had to use a dual carriageway the vehicle must be fitted with a flashing beacon style light to make other road users more aware of your prescence.

Lights, rear view mirrors, rear reflectors, indicators and a horn are all required by law if you intend to use your scooter on the road. All class 3 vehicles must have a speed selector as the legal speed for using the scooter on the pavement is 4mph or 6.4kph which is half of the speed of a class 3 scooter. This is done by means of a speed dial on the tiller or a switch to halve the maximum speed.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Time to Get Equal: Disablism

Scope believes that the UK's 11 million disabled people should have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. With this in mind they have embarked on the 'Time to get equal' campaign. Log onto their website for more details.

Scope describe Disablism as discriminatory, oppressive or abusive behaviour arising from the belief that disabled people are inferior to others.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Are they ripping us off?

Another excellent article from the Disability Now archive. I hear similar stories every day.

Some equipment companies are putting people under extreme pressure to buy, says Rod Hermeston.

Patricia Chubb, 67, has spent the entire amount of an insurance policy she had hoped to use for a holiday on a bathlift she says she cannot use.

A salesman from Nationwide Mobility sold her a Safety Bathe at a special price of £1,295, a £200 reduction which he said was only available that day, she claims.

While she was never able to try out the device in her bath, she claims the salesman said it would be fine after looking at the way she got into the bath.

When the lift arrived she tried to use it but says she realised that it was unsuitable for her. "It kept swinging me to one side. It was unbelievably painful for two or three days afterwards."
But the company told her there was nothing wrong with the lift, she claims.

An occupational therapist (OT) from Bristol social services has since said that the device is inappropriate because of the movements involved in using it.

The company has now offered Ms Chubb an Aquatec Fortuna bathlift instead, worth £895 the company told her. But it sells for around £450 elsewhere. Ms Chubb says she would like her money back.

Jane Madden of Oxford and Josephine Fanning of Didcot also complained to DN about the company. Ms Fanning accuses it of a hard sell which led her to buy a bathing device she feels unable to use. Ms Madden says a salesman tried to persuade her to pay around £400 more than the Aquatec Fortuna cost from another company.

Nationwide Mobility has failed to answer questions from DN despite being contacted on numerous occasions. In a statement it said that if anybody experienced problems with the company's agents or products "we would ask that they contact us directly so we can give the matter our early attention."

This response angered Ms Chubb, who claims she contacted them five times but only made headway when she got the local trading standards department involved.

The British Healthcare Trades Association (BHTA) has a complaints and conciliation scheme and can expel its members. Nationwide Mobility is not a BHTA member.

Unfortunately, experiences like these are not uncommon with other companies selling disability equipment such as scooters, bathlifts and stairlifts through ads in the national press, says Nick Pelling, director of the Disabled Living Foundation (DLF).

Salesmen often work on commission and saying that things are on special offer for one day is a classic tactic, he says. The DLF has received calls from people saying salesmen have even driven them to the bank to withdraw a deposit or encouraged them to lie about their age to get a bank loan.

Maggie Winchcombe, director of the Disabled Living Centres Council (DLCC), is worried about products being sold to people inappropriately.

"The group at risk of making expensive mistakes are those for whom dealing with an impairment is a new experience," she says. They only know about products through ads in the press.

It is important for this group to get impartial information. OTs in disabled living centres can offer that advice, she says.

It may be tempting to grab that "special offer", but Ms Winchcombe warns: "Don't make any commitment or sign anything until you have had time to consider."

There are good reasons for this because if you invite a salesman round, t here is no cooling-off period if you change your mind.

If you pay with a credit card there is a cooling-off period.

Under the Sale of Goods Act, a product must be fit for the purpose for which it is sold, so if a salesman misleads a consumer about what a product can do, the buyer is entitled to a refund.
But you do have to let the firm know that there is a problem within a reasonable time. And if the firm refuses to pay up, you might have to prove that you were misled by them in court, and this is not easy.

You should contact your local council and ask for the trading standards department or you could go to a Citizens Advice Bureau or solicitor.

At the moment there is limited regulation. BHTA has a code of practice and companies adhering to it should bring in an OT if they are uncertain how appropriate a product is.
Things may be set to improve in the sector.

The DLF, DLCC and BHTA are in the early stages of negotiations to set up a new code of practice for all direct selling of disability equipment.

This could involve a quality standards mark which those signing up to the code would carry on their ads. And a body could be set up to deal with complaints.

BHTA director Ray Hodgkinson says: "We hope people will join it to give public confidence. And companies not within it may not get business."

He hopes the Government will back the system.

Meanwhile, it is essential for people to seek unbiased information. The DLF can advise on equipment and suppliers.

The DLCC can give details of your nearest disabled living centre where you can try out equipment and get free advice.

It is a minefield, but with care you can avoid getting blown up.
Pressurised into handing money over:

In February 2000 Josephine Fanning, 76, of Didcot, had a Bath Bubble bathing aid demonstrated by a Nationwide Mobility rep. Ms Fanning, who has arthritis, claims when she asked for time to think the salesman got cross, saying he wouldn't come back to the area to waste his time. She says she bought the device for £595 because she felt under pressure. But she found the buttons hard to press and, on one occasion when she used it, she slipped off it.
Her son George Fanning was furious when he found out in August. He contacted Nationwide Mobility in September but claims they ignored his calls until he threatened to go to the press and his local MP in January this year.

The company has offered another product, but he has insisted it is tried out in the presence of an OT.

DLF helpline, tel: 0845 130 9177.
DLCC, tel: 0161 834 1044.
BHTA, tel: 01732 458868.

E-mail your experiences to DN:

Friday, October 13, 2006

Wheelchair Lifts

Wheelchair users and people with restricted mobility can benefit greatly from having a home lift installed. Domestic Wheelchair Lifts can be installed in any downstairs room where the lift can travel vertically through an aperture in the ceiling to the room above. When the lift is not in use it can be parked at either level leaving maximum living space available. The integral fire seal is effective when the lift is parked at the upper floor.

Wheelchair Lifts of this type are sometimes described as home lifts, through floor lifts, vertical lifts or platform lifts.

Domestic Wheelchair Lift
A domestic through floor lift is not suitable for use with a carer inside the cabin or for any standing users. In these circumstances an enclosed platform lift will be required. Multi purpose seats can be installed as an optional extra and there is a Powered Door option for greater independence. A fixed internal ramp provides a gentle incline for easy wheelchair access.

The Home Lift's free standing design does not require a load bearing wall meaning a wider choice of lift location is possible. The unit arrives flat packed for ease of transport and entry into the home. The lift is then assembled inside your house.

If for any reason the power should fail, emergency back-up systems operate the door, light and alarm and lower the lift to the ground floor. All vertical lifts should come with a phone point included. Safety edges and sensors will stop the lift if touched or obstructed.

Christian Dunnage is a director of Dolphin Mobility Ltd, a UK based independent supplier of
stair lifts, wheelchair lifts and mobility products.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Naidex 2007 (24-26 April) NEC

Naidex is the UKs largest healthcare & disability exhibition - aimed at healthcare professionals (occupational therapists, physiotherapists, nurses & carers), dealers & distributors, social services workers, care home owners & managers and members of the public who have a disability.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

SSAFA Forces Help

The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Families’ Association (SSAFA) Forces Help is the leading national charity committed to helping and supporting those who serve in our Armed Forces, those who used to serve, and the families of both. They provide a reliable, caring and trusted service to more than 50,000 people each year.

They can help to provide financial assistance to the following service men and women:

  • Anyone who has served one paid day of service in any of HM forces - all ranks and branches
  • Immediate dependants of the above - including former spouses, widows and widowers
  • Anyone who has completed one year's service in the Reserve Forces and their dependants
  • Anyone who has served one paid day in the Mercantile Marine and their dependants - including Korea, Suez, Falkland and Gulf operations
  • Anyone who has served one paid day in the Palestine Police Force in WWII and their dependants
  • Anyone who has completed one year's service of the Association's Professional Nursing and Welfare service
  • Any UK citizen currently stationed overseas as part of the Armed Forces who has completed one paid day whilst abroad and at least six months service after their return

Those not eligible for financial assistance can still approach SSAFA for advice on where to go next.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Disability Now Question

Another excellent article from Disability Now. This question from a reader relates to people who aret starting to find the stairs difficult to use.

Your questions on equipment, answered by Lucy Andrews. This month, a reader whose relative is scared of falling when using steps asks for advice

March 2005
Q: "I have a relative who, with effort, is able to get up and down the stairs, but at times is scared of falling. I don't feel she needs a stairlift, but rather something to support her. Can you advise me on what's available?"

Many people feel vulnerable on the stairs, particularly when they are standing at the top looking down. There are some simple rules that will help you reduce risk: make sure that the staircase is well lit, the carpet is firmly fixed and in good condition, and that footwear fits well.

You can also look at how you use stairs. It may be safer to take one step at a time, particularly if one side of the body is stronger, and lead up with the good leg, but down with the weaker leg so that the stronger one is doing the harder work of lifting your body weight (going up) and lowering (going down).

Most staircases have a bannister rail on one side. A second rail provides extra assistance and encourages you to remain square and symmetrical on the stairs. Hand railing can be bought from DIY stores; or modular rail systems are available in white plastic from Cefndy Healthcare (tel: 01745 351787,, and in wood from Keep Able (from £110, tel: 08705 202122,

Turns in the staircase can be particularly hazardous as the stair width is often reduced on one side. The Newel Rail attaches to two sides of the newel post to give a continuous handhold as you move round the bend. It is available in two diameters from Homecraft Ability One (from £10.80). Homecraft also supply U grips, which come in sets of three and clamp onto the bannister rail to give an alternative grip on top of the rail (from £15.60, tel: 01623 757555,

There are two devices that provide a horizontal handhold across the stairs: the and the Stair-bar. The Stairaid is available from E Greenwood and comprises a steel handrail that replaces the existing banister rail, and a perpendicular rail that can be moved along the hand rail. When the user pulls on the rail, a friction grip prevents movement, giving a stable support (left, from £650, including installation, tel: 01274 571578).

The Stair-bar from Nuvations is similar in that the support rail is in front of the user, but the rail is moved up through a series of stepped channels that are fixed onto the wall on one side of the staircase and above the bannister rail on the other (tel: 07000 560732, Both devices can be used to go up and down the stairs. The Stairaid can also be fixed outside.

For individual advice contact the DLF's helpline on 0845 130 9177 or email us at A local Disabled Living Centre can also offer help. Addresses are on the Assistive Technology Advice Centres Council's website (previously called the Disabled Living Centres Council) at

Lucy Andrews is a senior advisor at the DLF.

If you've got a question you'd like Lucy Andrews to answer, email or by post at the usual address.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Independent Living Fall Prevention

Between one-third and a half of people over 65 will have a fall in any 12 month period. The costs are considerable in personal terms, of course, and also to the NHS, where £908 million is spent annually on treating fall-related injuries. It is not surprising then, that one of the key objectives of the National Service Framework for Older People is to "reduce the number of falls which result in serious injury and ensure effective treatment and rehabilitation for those who have fallen".

In recognition of the importance of this topic, Independent Living have established an area on the site dedicated to strategies and products to help with preventing falls:

This is a substantial section in its own right, and also ties in with the two complementary areas, "Resources for Carers" and "Telecare and Communications"

Thursday, September 21, 2006

College of Occupational Therapists

The British Association/College of Occupational Therapists is the professional body for occupational therapy staff in the UK. Their website will help explain what an OT can do for you. If you or someone that you know could benefit from an Occupational Therapist you can ask your doctor to refer you to a state registered OT. Or you can find the number of your local hospital or social services in the telephone directory and ask for the occupational therapy department.

There are also many OT's who practise privately. The Occupational Therapist in Practice website has a useful directory which can help you find an OT close to you.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sherborne Upholstery Leather Recliner Chairs

Dolphin Mobility have been selling Sherborne Upholstery recliner chairs for the last 10 years, and have always been delighted by the quality. The Sherborne name is widely known and respected, and has grown into one of the most successful companies in the upholstery trade. With over 70 years experience in the furniture trade, their product range includes traditional Wing Chairs, Settees and Drop-end Sofas to the ultimate in relaxing, luxurious Reclining Chairs and Settees and matching Suites.

Certain Recliners, including all Electric 'Lift & Rise' designs, can be delivered to you anywhere in mainland Britain on Express Delivery in the entire range of Leathers. Press one button and you can ease yourself slowly into any reclined position. Then when you are ready, the Recliner can be returned to the upright position and will then slowly lift you up and tilt you forward.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Mobility Scooter Trailer

We have recently been approached by a company that is manufacturing trailers for mobility scooters. Armitage’s standard mobility scooter trailer retails at £499 and because it is specifically designed with an ultra-low loading height and compact dimensions it qualifies for exemption from VAT.

Scooter Trailer
The mobility scooter trailer is a welded fabrication, hot-dip galvanised after construction. It’s floor is heavy-duty phenolised birch plywood, with a textured, non-slip surface. We use the proven technology of Indespension suspension units, but with a new twist. Standard internal dimensions for the load floor where the scooter sits are 1525mm x 775 mm (5ft x 2ft 6½). Longer and/or wider versions can readily be made on request.

The rubberised torsion spring system is mounted “upside down” to lower the ride height of the trailer by several inches and make it massively more convenient for use by people whose agility is not what it was.

Lead-time to build from scratch is currently three weeks, but it is always worth a call to see if we have any trailers in stock. If you need any more information or would like a brochure sent to you please call Dolphin on 0800 9800 126 or send an email to

Thursday, September 07, 2006

THIIS - The Homecare Industry Information Service

The Homecare Industry Information Service provides up to date and valuable market information to Dealers, Distributors, Retailers, Suppliers, Manufacturers, Importers, Exporters, Agents and other companies involved in the homecare industry. A monthly publication is supported by frequent Email Bulletins to subscribers of this unique service.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Hastings Today Newspaper looks at Disabled Access

Stores 'failing' the wheelchair-bound

A NUMBER of town centre shops are failing to provide for the disabled community of Hastings.
The Observer visited several stores and found that, although many shops are complying with government legislation, many have let their provisions fall into disrepair. Since the Disability and Discrimination Act came into force in October 2004, shops have been instructed to make provisions for any potential customer who has a disability. This can take the form of providing a stair lift, disabled fitting rooms or ramps. An impromptu walk around Hastings town centre highlighted some worrying problems with wheelchair access to some shops. Fashion store Topshop, in Queens Square, had wide aisles and good door access but a blocked stair lift. A spokesperson for Topshop said: "The delivery bay is right next to the lift entrance and when the journalist visited the store yesterday, their delivery had just arrived and they were in the process of putting it away to prevent it causing an obstruction. Although the lift has only been used once we do make sure it is tested regularly. "Staff at Next refused to comment on the accusation that a wheelchair-bound shopper was left stranded halfway up the stairway when the store's disabled stair lift broke down but a spokesman for the company said: "This happened over two years ago and was completely resolved with the customer at the time through our Customer Services department. "Many of the shop's aisles were also a tight squeeze and the layout was not conducive to comfortable wheelchair access. Debenhams had a purpose-built hoist lift fitted to help wheelchair users tackle steps in men's fashion. But the lift was out of order and one member of staff revealed it had been so for quite some time. Because of this any wheelchair-bound customer wanting to access the lower level of that department store would actually have to leave the shop and re-enter it further down the road, then move through the narrow aisled cosmetic department. A spokesman for Debenhams said: "Debenhams is committed to resolving all issues relating to mobility impairment, including the access platform in the Hastings store. We will be reviewing all aspects of accessibility in this store in the very near future. "Not all the stores came out badly. Ottakers book store in Priory Meadow had excellent disabled provisions. There were clear signs directing wheelchair users to a spacious lift at the rear of the store and a special lowered counter for wheelchair users. The chip and pin machines in the popular book store can also be lowered to allow wheelchair users to use the main tills. Assistant manager Crystal Greenfield said: "We try to look after our disabled customers and their comfort is very important to us. "As well as the physical provisions in the building our staff are always happy to help or to go and hunt down a book people are having trouble finding. "A spokesperson for the Hastings and Rother Disability Forum said: "There are still problems in this area regarding disabled access. "Big stores like Debenhams really should be getting things done straight away, not leaving a lift broken for such a long time. "There are also a lot of a changes small shops could make which would improve things considerably. "Getting rid of a step or fitting self opening doors would be a huge help to wheelchair-bound shoppers but many stores seem reluctant to do this. "It would make superb business sense for the stores because the Hastings area has a huge disabled and elderly population and shops should be making the effort to cater for them without the threat of the Disability and Discrimination Act."

Thursday, August 31, 2006

How can an Occupational Therapist help me?

This occupational therapy blog is run by James Lampert, an independent OT. It has many interesting articles and helps to explain the many services that occupational therapists can provide for the elderly and disabled.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Disability Now

Disability Now is an excellent publication with several superb features on their website. Well worth a look if you have any interest in the issues facing disabled people in the 21st Century.

Click on the following link to register or just browse through the site at your leisure. There is always something interesting to read.

Disability Now is published by Scope.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Sport England - Access for Disabled People

Sport England's mission is to foster a more successful nation through increased investment in sport and active recreation. The document is a guidance note which addresses the requirement to provide people with disabilities with full access to all sports facilities.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Independent Living London 2006

This year's Independent Living exhibition will be held in Alexandra Palace on the 20th and 21st of September. Independent Living London 2006 is a major event for healthcare professionals, dealers of disability and rehabilitation products and members of the public in London and the Southeast.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Independent Living Centre Information

Assist UK is the National network for advice on independent living equipment. Currently there are over 50 member Centres. Assist UK is the only organisation in the UK to connect clients, manufacturers, regulators and professionals.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Dolphin Mobility Reference Library

If you are looking for a brochure or owners manual for a particular product, you may want to try our website - Dolphin Stair Lifts and search in the reference library. Several download are availabe in the pdf format.

London Theatre's Disabled Access

The Access London Theatre Summer 2006 brochure lists over 80 audio described, captioned and sign language interpreted performances taking place this summer, ranging across children's theatre, drama, musicals and opera.

The brochure can be downloaded here.

Ceiling Hoist Tracking Options

XY Tracking

XY Tracking enables full coverage of a room where a number of hoisting points may need to be achieved. This type of system is often used in sensory rooms, soft floor play areas, swimming pools and hospital wards. It also allows for room layouts to be changed without the need to reposition tracking.

XY Ceiling Hoist Fixed Track Hoist

Track Interlock

Track Interlock provides a link from a XY tracking system to a second XY or fixed track in an adjoining room.

A Frames

A Frames allow straight lengths of tracking to be supported on floor-mounted frames where the ceiling construction is not suitable. It also provides hoisting for those who only need it on a short-term basis.Some of these tracking options may involve modifications to the doors headers where possible. This work would be identified at the time of our site survey.

Ceiling Hoist Tracking Requirements

Hoist Tracking
BZP steel extruded channel, 50mm wide x 45mm deep, powder coated white

Track Fixing Detail
Supports required at 1000mm intervals (max)

Track Support Brackets (other supports available)
BZP steel extruded channel, 41mm wide x 21 mm deep, powder coated white

Tracking can be ceiling mounted, wall-mounted or self supporting on framework.

Wheelchair Lifts

Domestic wheelchair lifts are designed for accommodation on two floors, enabling wheelchair users and people with restricted mobility to regain the freedom of their whole house. The free standing design does not require a load bearing wall and when not in use the wheelchair lift can be parked at either level, maximising living space.The lift can be designed for wheelchair users or fitted with a multi purpose seat which can be used in a variety of positions.

Monday, July 03, 2006

DLF Wheelchair Factsheet

The Disabled Living Foundation produce an excellent factsheet which gives advice on providing access for wheelchair users.

Disabled Facilities Grants

If you or someone living in your property is disabled you may qualify for a disabled facilities grant. This can help you towards the cost of providing adaptations and facilities to enable the disabled person to continue to live there.

Disabled Facilities Grants explained.

To find out if you are eligible for a grant contact the housing or environmental health department of your local council and ask them to send an application form. A directory of local councils can be found here.

New Portable Pool Lift

After several customers asked us for information on portable pool lifts we decided that we had better try and source a new product. Eventually we found an American company that manufacturers a completely portable lift which makes it the ideal solution to the problem of access to swimming pools. Just roll the lift to the edge of the pool, lock the wheels, set the stabilisers and it's ready. The PAL can be operated either by the attendent or the user on their own. More details can be found on the Dolphin Mobility website.

PAL - Portable Aquatic Lift
Portable Pool Lift

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ceiling Track Hoists for the Disabled

Ceiling track hoists have become an indespensible aid to many disabled peoples lives, allowing the user to be comfortably transferred in virtually any situation in the home. There are several types of hoist systems available depending on the special needs of the patient and the construction of the property. Recent breakthroughs in design and technology mean that bespoke track and hoist systems can be manufactured to support most properties.

Ceiling Track Hoist
Generally speaking, prices for a straight hoist with a couple of metres of track will start around the £1800 mark. This price excludes VAT, however, if the hoist is in use in private property then it will be exempt from VAT.

Friday, May 12, 2006

A Wheelchair tale of two cities

I found this interesting article, comparing wheelchair access in London and Paris, on the BBC website. It's also worth reading Ouch! the BBC's disability magazine while you're there.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Portable Access Ramps

Portable Access Ramps are very useful for premises that cannot accommodate a permanent ramp, but need to provide wheelchair access. We have recently updated the Dolphin website to feature some of the portable ramp products that we are able to supply. The following links show product information and prices.
We have found that this type of ramp is particularly popular with owners of listed buildings, who have a duty to provide disabled access, but are faced with strict building regulations when they try to do something about it. Other customers include schools, libraries, shops and many people in their own homes.

Friday, May 05, 2006

New Aquatec Orca Bath Lift

The new Aquatec Orca is a high quality, ergonomic bathing solution that combines improved comfort and safety features with convenient handling. Key features include:

• Battery in lightweight hand control - Safe and convenient re-charging
• Removable covers - Hygienic care
• Lightweight component parts - Improved handling
• Lock free back rest - Easy to dismantle
• Stable robust construction - Hard wearing and straightforward to maintain
• User weight limit 135 kg (21 stone)

Further information and images to follow.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Swimming Pool Lifts and Hoists

An increasingly popular mobility aid is the swimming pool hoist. As disabled access slowly becomes more of a priority, the sight of products like this will become far more frequent. Every swimming pool that is open to the public should have this type of equipment available, be it a school pool, sports centre or a hotel. Not only is it the right thing to do, it is also a legal requirement. The Disability Discrimination Act states that since October 2004 service providers have to make reasonable adjustments to the physical features of their premises to overcome physical barriers to access. In my opinion this means that if you have a pool that is used by the public then you need to consider providing access for the disabled.

Oxford Dipper Pool Hoist
Swimming Pool Hoist
The Oxford Dipper Pool Hoist is a hydraulically operated patient lift intended for use in swimming pools, therapy pools or at quayside locations. The hoist is suitable for the following categories of lift.

  • Category A - Wheelchair
  • Category C - Bath
  • Category D - Toilet/Shower Chair
  • Category E - Floor
  • Category F - 90 Degree Rotation

The dipper is suitable for patients in the sitting, sitting/recumbent and recumbent positions. For more information check out our newly updated website pages. Pool Hoists and Lifts.

Mobility Blog

Hello and welcome to my new blog which is all about mobility products for the disabled. I am a director of a company called Dolphin Mobility Ltd operating in the UK. When the company started we were exclusively selling stairlifts but were soon being asked for information about other products by many of the people that had bought a lift from us. Through this blog I hope to pass on some of the knowledge and expertise that my company has accrued over the years.