Every child has the right to participate in life outside their homes including school and family activities. Unfortunately this can be very difficult if a child needs specialist equipment to help them with their toileting needs when they are out and about pursuing these normal day to day activities.
It ran from 2:09 PM, 22 September 2009 to 2:09 PM, 22 September 2009
Registered Charity in England and Wales (269804)
MERU wants to develop a portable toilet seat adaptation for small batch production in order to enable children with disabilities who need specialist toilet seating to take part in normal everyday living activities: activities which necessitate travelling outside their homes, including taking part in school and family outings. There are many children in the UK with both physical disabilities and developmental problems which makes using a standard toilet impossible, and while there are many commercially available toilet seat adaptations, most are fixed to the toilet and not transportable. The few portable toilet seats that are transportable tend to be quite flimsy and none give the additional upper body support that is needed by more severely disabled children. This means that their families and carers have to make a choice: either to put the child in nappies, or not to take the child out at all. Incorporating additional supports means the child can exert more leverage on the seat, therefore the engineers at MERU need to ensure that the toilet seat adaptations are extremely stable and that they are much more robust than the available transportable seats for the very same reason. At the same time the engineers need to work on keeping them as light as possible for ease of transport. All this complicates the design, which in turn increases the cost of manufacturing them. The substantially increased cost, together with the extremely limited market for this product, means that it could never be viable for a commercial manufacturer to produce them. This is why MERU needs to fund the research, development and initial production costs of this toilet seat adaptation from charitable sources.
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