For a child with motor disabilities, taking control of their first or latest powerchair can be a major milestone in their young life.

It’s a challenging process and, often, a fearful one too – for parents as well as the child.

Various healthcare professionals, and technology provider representatives, may be involved in preparing the chair and its control system.

The child then has a limited time to try it out before they and their family make decisions which can have a huge bearing on their future quality of life and independence.

There is also the immediate risk of colliding with walls or furniture as they first take control.

The i-Drive Assessment Kit provides an alternative. It enables therapists to assess children multiple times in their existing seating system without the need for a powerchair.

The i-Drive takes away the risk of the child losing control of the powerchair and physically hurting themselves the first time they try it.

It also eradicates the risk of an unsuitable chair or control system being selected due to rushed decision-making or lack of assessment time.

It enables a bespoke control system to be developed, tailored to the movements the individual is able to achieve easily.

The i-Drive provides a true assessment of the child’s functional ability – and cognitive and special awareness
– as they focus on operating the switches rather than struggling with an unfamiliar seating system.

The system is used in combination with the Loonz video game, which helps the child to get comfortable with the controls.

Controlling Tiki the Elephant over many hazards in his hot air balloon, builds the child’s confidence and helps to fine-tune the controls.

As the levels progress, the difficulty increases, helping users to improve their hazard awareness.

Parents who are worried about their child operating a heavy powerchair for the first time also gain peace of mind that the child will be prepared once they take control of their new device.

The i-Drive, in conjunction with the Loonz game, can assess for a range of controls from head arrays, to sip and puff, tray controls and chin controls.

While more games are planned, a virtual reality training game is also being introduced. This puts the user into a real-life environment such as a classroom or living room and trains them to navigate around obstacles using their new powerchair
control system.

The i-Drive system is distributed in the UK by BES Healthcare Ltd, which can support professionals and parents via demos, training and assessments from its in-house Assistive Technology Specialists.

Contact info@beshealthcare.net or call 011799 666 761 for more information.