Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Hodge Jones & Allen: 'Batting About'

Clients often describe the huge difference that new technology can make to their lives, especially when that technology improves mobility and can increase independence.  Hodge Jones & Allen work with Occupational Therapists who keep us updated with developments and the blog below by Bush & Company discusses the Batec - a powered attachment for wheelchairs.

Working as an OT in the field of posture and seating, I consider myself fortunate to meet individuals with SCI, who pretty much defy what the textbooks says about their level of injury or (dis)ability.

This refreshing way of looking at function and functional ability, echoes Davis’ sentiments regarding The International Classification of Function, Disability and Health (ICF). ‘ICF as a framework for rehabilitation ensures that the focus of rehabilitation is not only on the level of impairment and disability. It needs to focus on the individual’s participation in the environment and in society’. Davis 2006.

We all have goals we would like to achieve, and for individuals with SCI this is no different; to regaining function, to be independent, to return to work or to do an activity which you are passionate about and just get on with living life. It’s exciting when you come across people and equipment that can actually focus on making this happen.
Insert: Dave Hawkins (T11), Cyclone Mobility, BATEC user. 
Picture taken at Silverstone Race Track.
Ok, so what is this new craze which seems to be sweeping the nation…?
‘Batting’ as it’s become known on the street. Hearing terms used like ‘Batting up and down the road’ can only create interest and intrigue, right?

So what is this ‘Batting’ all about? Well we have Pau Bach, a C5 quadriplegic from Barcelona to thank for this.  Pau following his injury was forced into career changing decisions.

Pau retrained in computing from his former career plan of industrial design, due to limited vocational options available at the time for a spinally injured person. 

As an independent young man Pau did not wish to use a powered wheelchair so he set about re-inventing the world of mobility from a lightweight wheelchair. In 2001 Pau created a manually powered handcycle that attached to his everyday wheelchair and with this increased his mobility. In 2003 Pau improved the design by adding a battery and motor…. and the Batec was born.

The range includes an electric, manual, and hybrid versions. The Batec can be fitted to a rigid-frame or a folding-frame manual wheelchair in only 3 seconds! And Yes – it comes in many colour options and you guessed it – it even has a dock for your iPhone.

So from a getting out and about point of view it ticks all my OT boxes in promoting individuals with SCI (and other mobility related issues) to be able to achieve Independence, Function and Participation…now to sort the rainy weather.

Lee Ann Hoffman Occupational Therapist at Bush & Co
Julie Say Partner and Head of Hodge Jones & Allen’s Clinical Negligence Team

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