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Assistive Technology Transfer Update


Title: AZtechnologies... introducing your company to innovative assistive technologies
Author: Jeffrey A Kohler
Published: 1999
Publication: Assistive Technology Transfer Update: Vol. 1 Issue 1 (Spring)

Through AZtech's professional review process we have determined that the following innovations are unique, have market potential and are now ready for license. For additional information on any of these devices contact Mr. Jeffrey Kohler, Vice President, 716-833-7870 ext. 23, or E-mail kohler@acsu.buffalo.edu.

Swing Around Wheelchair Backpack System

The Swing Around Wheelchair Backpack System allows individuals to take advantage of the large storage capacity of a rear mounted, backpack-style bag, while providing the added convenience of side access. The bag can be easily accessed when needed, then swung back into position and out of the way. The primary purpose is convenience; the result is mobility and heightened independence for anyone who uses a wheelchair. The Swing Around Wheelchair Backpack System product line includes 1) a line of interchangeable bags from a professional attaché style case, to a sports bag, to a child's diaper bag, 2) a simple, universal wheelchair mount with left or right hand configuration, and 3) a mechanical remote actuated bag mount. The low profile mount remains on the wheelchair even when the bag is removed, and does not interfere with normal wheelchair operation. There are two designs for operation that share many common parts, reducing mold costs and decreasing manufacturing expense.

Wheelchair Anti-Roll Back Device

The Wheelchair Anti-Roll Back Device is a hub based mechanism for use in a manual wheelchair. This device was developed to assist manual wheelchair users negotiate inclines without rollback when their grip is released from the handrim. This technology will benefit many individuals who have difficulty negotiating inclines, and will especially be useful for individuals with limited strength or endurance who require periodic rest stops on inclines. The Incline Anti-Rollback System afford freedom of travel at a more independent level by reducing safety concerns, and decreasing effort and energy required. The user of the Incline Anti-Rollback System operates a shifting lever that engages or disengages the anti-rollback feature. Engaging the device is bi-directional depending on the placement of the lever. The user can selectively choose anti-rollback in forward motion, anti-rollback in reverse motion, or a neutral position for normal wheelchair operation.

Safety Baby Walker

The Safety Baby Walker is a tethered system to contain a baby in a walker within a limited area. Between 15,000-20,000 babies are treated in emergency rooms each year due to baby walker related accidents. The primary purpose of the Safety Baby Walker is to keep children safe while in a walker, but the device would also be a helpful assist to a parent with a disability who has difficulty keeping up to their child. The Safety Baby Walker consists of a weighted base and an arm attached to the walker, around which the baby can move. The arm rotates a complete 360 degrees, but can be locked to prevent rotation. It can move in and out flexibly, or locked to a fixed length to limit the child's range of movement. The attachment to the walker allows 70 degrees of rotation, and fits many of the walkers currently on the market.

Accessible Thermostat

The Accessible Thermostat from the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University is an electronic residential thermostat that can be installed as a replacement for standard thermostats. The design has a distinct advantage over existing residential thermostats due to its user-friendly operation and the addition of a remote control. The Accessible Thermostat is a retrofit for current heating and air conditioning systems and its features include LED's, large buttons on both the wall unit and remote control unit, contrasting graphics and lights for operation in low light conditions. All controls provide audible, tactile and visual feedback. A status report on the current temperature, current temperature setting and which functions are active is announced when the mid-section of the wall unit is touched. The Accessible Thermostat can be easily installed in a work or home environment without the need for structural changes.

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