Let’s face it – being paralyzed is expensive. But with a little know how and elbow grease, one area where you can save is on expensive (eh-hem overpriced) disability equipment. I’m talking about standing frames, 4×4 chairs, even in-home wheelchair lifts.
All of these things can be built at home with the right instructions and a little help. Read on to see four awesome how-to’s on creating badly needed disability equipment. Remember, if you try, please do so at your own risk.
Our first video comes from Jordan, a 20-somethig paraplegic who’s constantly road-tripping across the United States. He’s a huge fan of standing and loves to stand even while he’s on the road. In his video, he shows how to build a homemade standing frame that’s attached to the side of his minivan. I know, it sounds a bit crazy, but if you’re a paraplegic, it’s a redesign of the standing frame that’s actually brilliant.
How it works is simple: It’s a wooden frame that juts out of the side sliding door the when the van is parked. It has two long metal bars that look similar to parallel bars that Jordan uses to pull himself upright. Quite the brilliant design, and it only cost $35.00 to build. Watch him build his standing frame in a Lowe’s parking lot while road-tripping in upstate New York
If you’ve ever coveted those expensive all-terrain wheelchairs, then you’ll love this video showing a test drive of a homemade 6×6 wheelchair. Yes that’s right, it has six wheels. A very clever man has used old retired wheelchairs and a couple other parts to build the ultimate all-terrain wheelchair, and it works like a dream. Watch the builder get through long grass on the family farm
Accessible motorcycles and scooters are another high-end toy that is out of reach for many people spinal cord injuries. However, if you happen to have two Yamaha Mio125cc scooters lying around, you can use the two together and build the ultimate wheelchair accessible scooter, just like Ryan Jensen did, a paraplegic who travels frequently to Thailand, which is where the scooter resides.
He’s able to roll right on and go, no transfer required, thanks to the large flat floor built between the two cycles. Its top speed is about 100 km/hour and yes, it looks really freaking cool. It cost him 120000 Thai Baht to build, including the new motorbikes and spare parts, which is a mere $3,834 US. Watch Brian roll onto his scooter and zoom
If you’d like to really impress your friends, you can also try your hand at creating a homemade hand-powered elevator, or a lift rather. A giant lift/pully setup has been designed by a paraplegic in NYC to help him get from the top floor of his warehouse condo to the bottom floor, and he’s created a short video showing him demoing the lift. Watch how the lift works
Some of us may not have the desire to build homemade disability equipment, but if you do, thousands can be saved, and you can stroke your ego while you’re at it, which never hurts.
What kind of homemade disability equipment do you have?
Watch the videos!