We’ve had the Americans with Disabilities Act for nearly twenty years, but gyms remain nearly impossible to access and use for those in wheelchairs. The Access was inspired by the difficulty, after the designer saw a man in a wheelchair arrive at a gym, with a bag full of homemade gadgets attached to the back of his chair. In the following hour and a half he spent more time fiddling with the equipment and getting in and out of the chair than he did working out. Surely, he wasn’t alone: Almost no gyms have equipment for the handicapped.
The designer’s still anonymous, because the design itself is competing for the James Dyson Award, a global competition to find the cleverest student-designed concepts (after the spirit of Sir James and his ubiquitous vacuum). The Access has two arms that extend laterally, and which can rotate up to 180 degrees, each independently. That allows anyone to configure it to their specific need:
Currently, the design is the second-highest rated entry among hundreds from around the world. It’s just a hair behind this design, for a reusable seal for food containers–a variation on something that’s been running on infomercials for years, stateside.
You can change that though–entries are all now online, and by registering, you can vote for the best (and worst) until July 20th. Winners will be announced a series of rounds after that, and the grand-prize winner takes £10,000 cash. We’ll keep you posted.