Click here to read more information about the Shonaquip Foundation.

Click here to read more information on Shona McDonald (the founder of Shonaquip).

Shonaquip, an award winning social enterprise, designs seating and mobility solutions and provides an outreach wheelchair seating clinic model to ensure that people with mobility disabilities not only receive the right equipment that is correctly fitted, followed up and maintained, but also have direct access to onsite mentoring and skills development training.

Over five million children and young adults across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region need an appropriate, well-fitting wheelchair but don’t have one. When not provided with a decent wheelchair, children who cannot walk will develop spinal deformities and other maladies.

For the parents of children with physical disabilities, getting the help they need for their children is very difficult. They often have to travel long distances to attend government or donor funded wheelchair facilities and public transport is both expensive and inaccessible for wheelchair users. Furthermore, significant gaps exist between government health policy and disability rights policy as well as available budgets for equipment and delivery of support services. These barriers result in the exclusion of wheelchair users who have the most complex needs, particularly when they are living in inaccessible and rural areas.

With access to support close to where they live, the risk of developing spinal deformities, pressure sores and lung disease is greatly reduced. Furthermore, unnecessary medical expenses for the family are reduced and there is improved opportunity for wheelchair users to lead more independent and fulfilling lives.

The purpose of the Social Enterprise is to facilitate and ensure the successful inclusion and improved quality of life of children with mobility disabilities. To achieve this, Shonaquip works with the users, their families and the rehabilitation professionals who assist them to design wheelchairs and seating supports as well as the models of accessible aid services that ensure that each child has the opportunity to be included in their family, the education system, their community and one day broader society.

Shonaquip’s products will be featured throughout 2014 at the Object House‘s ‘In Development’ (#WDC321) exhibition which seeks to unpack the intricate and complex process of product innovation by showcasing the development process of a number of different products.

Click here to read more about other World Design Capital 2014 projects.

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