But first, it’s something that we maybe
all take for granted: having the ability
to move around freely. But for people
with a disability, key pieces of kit can
help empower them to live more
independent lives. Young engineers in
Cambridge are working with people in
this region to design and create bespoke
tools. Mo can tell us more
tonight in Cambridge.
Yes, welcome to the Cambridge Design Partnership
nestled away in the Cambridgeshire countryside
you wouldn’t know it’s here. But
this factory, this workshop, is
responsible for some big-name inventions —
we’ll tell you more about that later —
but first, how they’ve helped two people with
disabilities overcome their problems.
What looks like a day out in Anglesey
Abbey is actually a working day for
Stacy Co Hasini a vlogger who films her
travels to highlight the issues faced by
people with disabilities. But it’s not
always as easy as it sounds.
“This date night is not good–oh no! I’ve dropped my camera!”
As with everything else, Stacy’s difficulty with
holding the camera steady is caught on film
“It’s definitely not going to plan. I’ve just broken the camera
“It’s just a bit of the lens. It’s alright.”
Enter this simple piece of kit. Simple but effective.
“The biggest part of
it transforming my life is I can’t drop it any more.
Before, I’ve gotten through three of these cameras in
the last year where as I tried to turn
the camera around to film something
to the side of me or in front of me I will
lose grip of it and drop it. So
that’s the biggest thing that’s
transformed it. Now it electronically
turns around for me. That’s giving me so
much more independence to get an easier
turning on things and not drop the
The kit was specially designed by
engineers in Cambridge who are coming up
with smart fixes for challenging
circumstances. A description that fits
Sarah Stones. Born with cerebral palsy
the tendency to lean on her left can
leave her with searing pain.
“I’ve always thought, actually all I need is
something to make me sit up, because I forget. So
it’s just literally a sleeve that I put
on my arm and it’s got a
pressure pad underneath it, and when I’m
leaning on my arm too much the buzzer goes off.”
Sarah works as a motivation
specialist in schools and for companies.
Through their work, both she and Stacey
are giving back to society, and these
gadgets are helping them to do that.
I have to say having met both Sarah and
Stacey they are incredible women in
their own right, never mind those gadgets.
But talking of gadgets let’s speak to
the team behind those inventions here at
Cambridge Design Partnership.
We’re here with Akshaya Ahuja and Jess
Carroll. Akshaya let’s start with you.
You are a designer by day but supported
these two people that we’ve seen
with disabilities. How did you get
“How did I get involved?
I’ve always been looking for a way
to apply my engineering skills. I found
out about Remap and I was initially
completely drawn to the application. So I
got in touch and was given my first
cases and went along and got the chance
to make really useful products.”
just briefly, a word about who Remap are
because they are key to this aren’t they?
“So Remap is a national charity. The
aim is to make custom equipment for
people with disabilities in order to
help them to live healthier, longer lives.”
And just a question for you, Akshaya,
how difficult was it getting behind
their disabilities, understanding what
they needed, presumably you hadn’t
worked with people with cerebral palsy before?
“I think that is one of the
biggest and most underrated challenges
of product development, at CDP and with
Remap, is relating to people whose
experience you don’t necessarily live.
And the key to that is engaging with the
client from the start to the end of the
project. So the way that we do that
at Remap is we start every project with
a client visit and we hear their
thoughts. We do an initial brainstorm to
get their views on what they think will
work, but it’s really about seeing the client
in their environment.”
And Jess, we’ve got
this wall of fame behind you of all the
work that CDP has done. We’ve got Pyrex,
we’ve got the Dulux paint pots, but you
want to hear more from people
with disabilities and how you can help.
“Yeah, so Remap are looking for more cases
to take. So we want to help more people
and we need more people to refer
themselves, or alternatively getting their
occupational therapists to refer them,
and then that way we can help people with
And that will obviously help your skill
set as well?
“Yes, so it’s a great
opportunity as an engineer to see what
your skills do to help people. So you can
see straight away I’ve made this thing
and this has improved someone’s
Jess, Akshaya, many
thanks for hosting us. So if you are
inspired by what you saw in my report,
thought what those gadgets could do
could help you, do you get in touch with Cambridge Design Partnership. James.
Mo, great stuff. Thank you very much