No equipment commercially available for your child?

Sometimes, despite the best efforts of everybody involved to source something, there is no 'off the shelf' equipment available to meet the highly individual needs of some children.

There are charities however, that can assist in these circumstances...

BIME designability
BIME design innovative assistive technology solutions to help disabled people of all ages where there is currently no equipment available to help. This is for situations where the solution might benefit several people rather than just an individual. They work on projects from simple items of equipment for daily living to complex computer-based devices. The charity employs a team of graduate design engineers and support staff who work closely with medical and healthcare professionals, and importantly with disabled people themselves to test out prototypes and guide their work. Once a design has been shown to be successful, it is developed for production. Some designs are licensed to reputable manufacturers, but many are manufactured through their own Production Unit. As BIME are a non-profit organisation, their products are sold at the same price as they cost to make.
Contact details:
Website: www.designability.org.uk/
Telephone: 01225 824103
E-mail: info@designability.org.uk

Cerebra Innovation Centre
The Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) is a collaborative venture between national children's charity Cerebra and Swansea Metropolitan University. CIC is a design and development research centre made up of a team of product designers and electronic engineers. CIC works to design and produce bespoke solutions (equipment that is not already available to buy) to support brain injured children and their families. They also specialise in adaptations of exisiting products to make them more suitable for brain injured children.
Contact details:
Website: www.cerebra.org.uk
Telephone: 01267 244200
E-mail: info@cerebra.org.uk

DEMAND is an independent charity who design and manufacture bespoke, one-off items of equipment for disabled people, where no off the shelf solutions exist. They do not charge clients for their services. DEMAND also offer refurbished equipment for sale - the proceeds from the sales of these items goes directly towards their charity work helping those with special needs. They also have a repair and refurbish service, and are able to recycle unwanted equipment, often using components for new products. Contact details:
Website: www.demand.org.uk
Telephone: 01923 681800 (South) or 01484 666261 (North)

MERU is a charity that designs and manufactures custom-made equipment for children and young people with disabilities, when no ready-made equipment meets their needs. Operating in London and the South East, MERU makes a wide range of items for use at home, at school or college, or at play. These include - for example - seating and desks, communication and computer controls, learning and leisure toys, mobility aids and daily living equipment. Clients should be referred to MERU by or with the support of their relevant health or social care professional. The service is free to children and families, although the relevant health or education authority is usually asked to contribute a small proportion of the cost - usually equivalent to a typical ready-made solution. MERU also has an Information and Advice service on children's equipment, as well as a small range of off-the-shelf solutions.
Contact details:
Website: www.meru.org.uk
Telephone: 01372 725203
General e-mail enquiries:info@meru.org.uk

Remap is a national charity, working through a network of volunteers. Remap has 85 panels across England, Wales and northern Ireland, and helps over 3000 people with disabilities each year.The volunteers use their skills to help people with disabilities to achieve much-desired independence in some aspect of their lives, or to enjoy leisure opportunities previously closed to them. They do this by making unique, tailor-made pieces of special equipment which are given free to the people who need them. As with MERU, REMAP do not take on projects where a ready-made solution can be obtained.
Contact details:
Website: www.remap.org.uk
Head office telephone: 01732 760209
To find your nearest office visit this link to the map of Remap

Advice last checked: 30 January 2018 Next check due: 30 January 2021

All advice is either supported by references (cited in the text) or is based upon peer reviewed professional opinion. Our advice is impartial and not influenced by sponsors or product suppliers listed on the site.
Conflict of interest statement