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I have a cane and I am not afraid to use it

Existing devices are neither easily usable in environments inside and outside the house; nor are they designed to be socially acceptable

Photo of Devendra Natekar
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A couple of years back I had a running injury which resulted in me not being able to walk more than a few steps without assistance (cane, crutches). I realized very quickly how ill-designed the assistive devices - but more importantly the world around us is.

At home I was sliding down stairs because it was hard to use a cane while holding on to the railing - especially since the railing was on the same side as my bum leg (and hence on the same side as the cane). The problem got even worse outside while navigating (often broken) escalators in metro stations, security lines at airport (the cane cannot come with you), streets and even restaurants (busy ones)

Worse was the sympathy and even worse (in some cases) was the look of "Ugh - fine you can have my seat" I used to get.

And then my wife said something to me. She said "you like Dr House why not channel him now"

And so I did. I also got a flame decal for my cane (a la house). I developed a "I dont give a .." attitude. And at home (and in some cases outside) I started using my exercise bands as ties around my waste with carabiners to hook around rails etc. to prevent falls


There are some folks who have started doing this:

- http://www.inclusivecollective.org/

http://www.newyorker.com/business/currency/designing-for-disability

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ovjSs8Z5We8

What is a provocation or insight that might inspire others during this challenge?

I think we need to design assistive products so that: (1) they can be used in any environment (2) there is no stigma in using them (3) people don't see it as an assistive product but like an accessory (like sun glasses) We can also think about redefining the surrounding where we can and whee we cannot we design a rpoduct that works and is AWESOMELY DESIGNED

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Photo of Bettina Fliegel

Great share Devandre!
I wonder if the Inclusive Collective might have any ideas "for accessories" for this challenge?