Powerchairs: A “moving” story

Dan Everard invented an electric wheelchair in the 80s which is still used today

In the early 80s, after doctors told Dan Everard that his 18 month old daughter would need an electric wheelchair, he was surprised and upset to find that a suitable chair didn't exist for very young children - so he set about making one.

As more and more people asked him to make one for them, he set up a company specialising in producing powered "wheels" that would follow a child from 18-months-old and which can also move them into a standing position. Now grown-up, his daughter, Ruth, runs the company alongside her father and helped to kickstart something of a revolution in how young kids move and behave.

Typically the NHS don't provide powered chairs for children under the age of five, and some have to wait until they're 12 to become independently mobile. Experts say the majority of development of under fives happens through exploring the world for themselves. They say children who do not get mobile before this age often are delayed and can develop an extra disability of "learned helplessness".

Click here for a non-subtitled version.

Video Journalist: Kate Monaghan

Follow @BBCOuch on Twitter and on Facebook, and listen to our monthly talk show

More on This Story

More from Ouch

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • Audi R8Need for speed

    Audi unveils its fastest production car ever - ahead of its Geneva debut


  • A robot holding a table legClick Watch

    The robots who build flat-pack furniture - teaching machines to work collaboratively

Try our new site and tell us what you think. Learn more
Take me there

Copyright © 2015 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.