Category Archives: CIC

CIC Need Testers for Exciting New Product!

Plans for the new Oxygen Trolly

Plans for the new Oxygen Trolly

The Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) are currently working on plans for a new Oxygen Trolley and we are looking for testers.

We mentioned in the last newsletter that one of our plans for this year is to develop our little Oxygen Trolley to incorporate as many uses and make it available for as many children as possible.

So the plan currently is to make one product that will enable children to transport their own oxygen, ventilator or food pump, and some toys/books etc to make it more inclusive and more of a toy that carries their equipment.

We are trying to develop it so that it can be pushed along and thereby give support as a walker, or pulled along for the more mobile children, and can be sat on to act as a ride-on toy! We have one more addition to make that is not shown here and this is to add steerable wheel to the front for children who are more mobile and stable.

Shown below are some photos of the current design. This first prototype is being sent to some very eager Occupational Therapists in the Long Term Ventilation Team at Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham. They are going to assess the product then pass it on to its new owner, a 2 year old boy.

The next one is shooting off to Liverpool for the same assessment by the Liverpool team. We are meeting some more OTs in the Royal Bromton Hospital in London and hopefully by then will have the design perfected.

BUT… we still need you!! If your child could benefit from this product we would love to hear from you. We need lots of willing product testers to ensure the concept works and to help us iron out any problems. If you think this would help your child, please get in touch and join the fun! Our overall aim is to be able to make a really good product that we will be able to sell commercially and earn an income for Cerebra.

If you would like to get in touch,  please call on 01792 483688 or email cic@cerebra.org.uk.

CIC Develop New and Improved Oxygem

pic 2 main

CIC have been developing a new product…shhhhh….don’t tell anyone just yet!

We are in an exciting development phase of the new and improved Oxygem. This is a small oxygen cylinder and ventilator transportation device (Trolley!). You might have seen our Trunki Suitcase conversions, and even our own designed and build unit that was a real success for the few children who have used them, but now the idea is to redesign it having studied the old units in action.

Here you can see the Mark I Oxygem:

Oxygem

Oxygem

We have a few ideas that are being explored, and are trying to incorporate different ways of the child pushing or pulling it, but also for the child to sit on or in the and push along, or be pushed by an adult……not much to ask….but technically it is a very tough project!

Below you can see one nice idea that we have been working on. It is similar in principle to a toddler’s Block Truck. This unit is for small children and incorporates some great design features to help children walk un-aided. By holding the handle and pushing the child will be stable, and the rear wheels project further behind the truck so if they fall backwards the unit will not tip over. The really clever bit is that the wheel bearings only move forwards, and so when falling backwards the wheels act as a brake and will help prevent falling. This was first developed purely as a walking aid, but has been redesigned to accommodate oxygen, ventilators and food pumps.

For older children and those with better stability we are still working on a more complex solution and below you can see some of the sketches ideas so far. What we are trying to achieve is one product with multiple uses. This will give children the most flexibility of use and make it more accessible to more families. To be able to take control of their own oxygen supply and get around unaided will give such a sense of freedom and independence that we are trying to make this a real game changing product.

Oxygem plans

Oxygem plans

Once we are happy with the sketch ideas we will translate this onto the computer aided design program (Solidworks) and begin the lengthy process of prototyping and building test units. Once these are finished we can test them with our first few clients and refine the product.

We look forward to being able to bring you more news in the New Year and will keep you up to date with developments. If you think any of these ideas might be able to benefit your child please get in touch via the website and let us know.

The CIC team would like to take the opportunity to say a huge “Thank You and Merry Christmas” to all of our members, and people who have so kindly donated to enable us to do the most amazing jobs we could ever imagine working on! We look forward to working with you in 2015!!

If you have a challenge for the CIC team you can contact them by telephone: 01792 483688 or by email: cic@cerebra.org.uk.

Puddle Splashing Fun Made Easy

Butler Overboot

Butler Overboot

One of our mums recently asked CIC for some help to find a solution to her child’s soggy feet during the prolonged wet weather.

Her child wears supportive Piedro boots which are great for support, but were not offering water resistance during trips to parks, petting zoos and, given the wet weather we have had, almost everywhere!

Well there is a fantastic new solution available called a Butler Overboot. Established in 2012, this great innovation from the USA allows you to wear a completely waterproof boot over your existing shoes. They are made from a thin but tough rubber material which opens very wide thanks to the “accordion bellows tongue” and allows you to push your feet with your shoes on, into the boot and then secure with the Velcro tab.

Mr Kingsley-Poole of Bulter® says “They are practical, durable and built to perform under pressure. Come rain, sleet or snow, kids will love the bright, fun colours while mums will love how easy they are to slip over and off of their child’s shoes”.

Available to buy from various retailers around the country and online (Amazon) for £35 we think these boots are great and should help in many situations for any and all children. We think they might be especially useful for children with supportive shoes or when untying and retying shoe laces can be time consuming. We found them to be very easy to put on- if you open the “fan” wide and push the front of the shoe in, and just a bit of a tug on the handy tab at the back and the child’s feet slipped in. Our young product demonstrator absolutely loved them, taking every opportunity to splash in every puddle around with extra enthusiasm.

Butler boots are available in six fun colours: Classic Navy, Yellow Sunshine, Fire Engine Red, Bright Lime, Pink Passion and Teal Tales – enough to brighten up the dullest rainy day and offer lots of puddle-splashing fun with reduced effort!

Please follow this link to find out more: http://us.butlerboot.com/
To find local retailers, if you click the link then follow  the “where to buy” tab.

CIC is back up and running!

CIC full 2 main

As you may be aware we have moved offices – in fact, we moved building, workshop, office and all of our kit. It took forever! We had enjoyed a top floor office in University of Wales TSD Swansea for the last 9 years, with a panoramic sea view and lots of space. But in line with the plans to re-house the School of Industrial Design in a newly renovated building in the city centre, we upped sticks and joined them.

Our new home is in part of the Old Swansea Central Library which has been renovated and sports a fantastic new glass atrium on the west elevation. You may have seen the building in one Dr Who episode where they filmed in the round reading room. The building looks fantastic now, and we have brand new state of the art machines in the workshops and a lovely new office (no sea view unfortunately).

CIC full main

That said, it took a while to move in! As with all building projects there were many unforeseen obstacles which led to delays. We packed up our things into boxes and crates, according to the schedule, in June but we were not able to move in until August in the end and the workshop was not commissioned until early November! So after a few homeless months and with no workshop we did get delayed in some of our work, and we have been fighting hard to pull back some of our deadlines. Thank you all so much for being patient with us!

The good news is that our phone works again!! Yes- you heard it, 3 months off thegrid, but we are connected again! Please call us on 01792 483688 if you have any requests for products or help that we might be able to offer.

We have many new products getting close to finishing; including fish tank enclosures to make fish tanks accessible to children, “Oxygem” our oxygen cylinder trolleys and the 20 writing slopes are close to completion- we had to order the parts from China to get these finished!

Daniel Shows off Weighted Cap

???????????????????????????????Daniel O’Connor has received a weighted cap specially made by Cerebra’s own Innovation Centre.

Weighted items can be very useful for children with sensory issues and conditions such as Autism as they can help them to feel grounded. This can help to increase a child’s concentration span which has clear benefits in a school setting.

The problem that many parents encounter is that weighted items are not always readily available or are unsuitable for their child’s specific needs.

That’s where the Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) comes in! The team recently created a weighted hat for nine year-old Daniel O’Connor who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in February 2014.

Daniel found it difficult to concentrate in class often becoming quite fidgety. He started using a weighted blanket which was given to him by one of his teaching assistants and would often put it on his head, saying that it “helped him concentrate”.

His mum Julie contacted Dr Ross Head at the CIC and explained the situation. It seemed that creating a weighted cap for Daniel was the best solution!

The team took one of Daniel’s own caps and stitched in a specially developed a rubber-like sheet material that is tough and flexible, yet dense enough for even the thinnest of layers to offer enough weight for the cap.

The cap has had a huge positive impact on Daniel’s life and he says that when he is wearing it, the hat helps him to concentrate, and he can think for longer.

Julie said: “I can’t thank Cerebra and Dr Ross Head enough, and as for Daniel, the cap looks a lot better on him than wearing a blanket on his head!”

Daniel Shows off Weighted Cap

Daniel and his weighted cap

Daniel and his weighted cap

Daniel O’Connor has received a weighted cap specially made by Cerebra’s own Innovation Centre.

Weighted items can be very useful for children with sensory issues and conditions such as Autism as they can help them to feel grounded. This can help to increase a child’s concentration span which has clear benefits in a school setting.

The problem that many parents encounter is that weighted items are not always readily available or are unsuitable for their child’s specific needs.

That’s where the Cerebra Innovation Centre (CIC) comes in! The team recently created a weighted hat for nine year-old Daniel O’Connor who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome in February 2014.

Daniel found it difficult to concentrate in class often becoming quite fidgety. He started using a weighted blanket which was given to him by one of his teaching assistants and would often put it on his head, saying that it “helped him concentrate”.

His mum Julie contacted Dr Ross Head at the CIC and explained the situation. It seemed that creating a weighted cap for Daniel was the best solution!

The team took one of Daniel’s own caps and stitched in a specially developed a rubber-like sheet material that is tough and flexible, yet dense enough for even the thinnest of layers to offer enough weight for the cap.

The cap has had a huge positive impact on Daniel’s life and he says that when he is wearing it, the hat helps him to concentrate, and he can think for longer.

Julie said: “I can’t thank Cerebra and Dr Ross Head enough, and as for Daniel, the cap looks a lot better on him than wearing a blanket on his head!”

Product Review: Safe and Sound Travel Pod

Safe and Sound Travel Pod

Safe and Sound Travel Pod

CIC bring you a review of the Creative Care Limited Safe and Sound Travel Pod, a portable safe sleeping area.

Over the years CIC have been asked many times for a solution to safe sleeping whilst travelling. Secure sleeping areas are readily available for permanent fixtures, and we have tried a few times to make something that would allow easy travel, perhaps sleeping over at Grandma’s house, going on holiday etc. But we have never succeeded in anything structurally sound enough that we would be happy to release. So when we came across the fantastic Creative Care Limited and their Safe and Sound Travel Pod we were over the moon that we can now direct people to the perfect solution to this problem!

Not only are Creative Care Limited a great, friendly and ethical company, they have an amazing product, beautifully made from quality materials and it is the best priced unit on the market. By designing and manufacturing in-house, and cutting out the middle men, Creative Care Limited are able to bring you this product for the best price possible.

travel-pod-car

It gets better: The Safe and Sound Travel Pod has also been designed by former aircraft engineer Tom, to be the smallest and most portable unit available! The unit weights 25kg in total and has been cleverly engineered to fold into 2 bags, both of which will fit width ways between the wheel arches of an average car – this was a vital criteria for Tom, as the unit is portable. Using an innovative camp bed arrangement they have also removed the bulky mattress which increases portability.

Some of the results of using the Creative Care Limited bed ranges are outstanding. Some children have been clinically proven to be able to reduce their sleep medication, and others have stopped using it completely and are getting their best night’s sleep in their lives – and so are their parents!!

The enclosures are shown to be so comfortable and comforting that kids are making the choice themselves to sleep inside to get some rest and get away from the bustle of family life for a bit of “me- time”.

A sale or return scheme is also available for those who would like a demonstration of the pods before purchase, with the only cost being for the postage.

Please feel free to visit: http://www.creativecareltd.co.uk/support/useful-contacts/ or call the Creative Care Limited team on 07585667248 or 07731793687 for more information and current pricing.

CIC reviews CAPR-Style clothes

bodyvestWe were recently made aware of a lovely company called CAPR-Style who make awesome fashionable clothes for kids and young adults.

Not only have their clothes been designed to fit appropriately, but they are really cool looking and functional too. Ross Lindsay very kindly sent us some trial outfits and the CIC team were really impressed with the build quality, the softness of the fabrics and how they had managed to get such functionality into such cool looking clothes.

Claudia Romero, the founder of CAPR-Style set up the company after finding it increasingly tough to find clothes for her own son. She says:

All our products are designed specifically for people with severe disabilities and also for wheelchair users and those with incontinence problems. The main users are those who have: limited range of motion and impaired dexterity, motor neuron disease, muscular dystrophy, spinal injury, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, stroke, hemiplegia, rigidity, developmental disabilities, toileting/changing needs, G-tube feeding, catheters and colostomy bags and IV tubes. All the final adjustments to our products can be customize to personal needs (i.e. T-shirts with access to PEG tube or length of legs).”

As one small example from their extensive range, they supply the “Merrick Style Body Vest” with a super cool Little Monster Pattern. This is a one piece body vest with attached shorts which would be very versatile for playing or sleeping.

An opening at the crotch helps with dressing and helps secure any nappies or pads that are worn. To aid dressing the left shoulder or both shoulders of the body vest can be made to open and be secured with snap fasteners. The opening means the body vest can easily be placed over the head and then secured in place without having to thread arms into place. CAPR-Style even offer an additional service to include PEG-JEJ tube openings with covers.

Other clothing items offered are trousers with Velcro seams to aid dressing, long and short sleeve t-shirts and the range is constantly evolving. They cater for girls and boys from 3 years old into young adulthood. Excitingly they are planning to add skirts, jumpers and jacket to their range very soon. Keep in touch via CAPR-Style’s Facebook page for more information.

Based in Edinburgh, CAPR-Style are very proud that all of their clothing is produced in Scotland to a very high standard at very reasonable prices, with all their materials sourced from the UK.

For further information the contact details are: info@capr-style.com or 07804 512 186 and the website is: www.capr-style.com.

CIC News – June 2014

We catch up with the guys at the CIC and find out what they’ve been up to lately.

CIC have been busy designing and building products to help our young members and their families as usual! The requests for design challenges have been coming in steadily but there is always room for more! If there is anything we can help you with, please feel free to give us a call. Remember that we are here to help with anything product related, for example we could help source products, or if you have an idea for a solution that could help your child we should be able to design and make something…..and if you simply have a problem with no idea for a solution…those are the ones we love the best- give us a call or drop us a line and we will rise to the challenge!

Here are a few recent examples of products that we have been working on.

Weighted Capscic-cap
CIC helped with a couple of recent requests for weighted caps to help with Tourettes and Autism. The families kindly supplied hats that had been tried for size and were the correct style and brand (very important consideration for our young members!) and CIC used their carefully developed method of making very slim flexible weighted pads to fit into the hats. From the outside you would never know there is any difference in the hat, but the resultant behavioural changes appear to be fantastic!

“Hi Ross, just to let you know Jamie’s hats arrived yesterday. He is so happy with them. He wore his blue one in class today and he said it helps him concentrate. He is feeling a lot happier in himself. Thank you so much for taking the time to make them. Jamie will be sending you a card this week, thanks again D”

An extra tall baby-gate
This request was for a stylish gate that would enable Mum, Sinead, to know that her son is safe and well inside his room and so removing the risk of him getting to the stairs, whilst still being able to see each other through and decorated with Ben 10 images. As usual, the gate had to fit the style of the house and not have a negative impact on the environment or look too restrictive. We decided on a simple form with a curved top to break up the shape and then found some lovely images of Harvey’s favourite TV character.

“Hello I received the gate and it is wonderful I cannot thank you enough also Harvey loves it with the ben10 stickers thank you very much for your time and effort. I have made a donation to cerebra thank you again x S”

CIC writing clopeThe CIC Writing Slope
Something that we have been working very hard on recently is the design of our new writing slope. You may remember that we told you about one that we had made for a young lady last year, and from the response to that story we have now made another 30 units! The writing slope is made so that it can help children with writing and reading by helping to hold the paper and books steady and in a useful position. It has many innovative features such as: Adjustable angle controlled with a gas spring, a pen holder which negates the use of pen lids, magnetic reading and writing ledges and a carry handle.

Here is some of the feedback we have had so far:cic-writing-slope

“Thank you so much for Jack’s writing table, it is brilliant. I will get a donation sent to you and also a photo!”

“I am so very grateful for the beautifully crafted writing slope that arrived for Sim this morning! He is going to be incredibly excited when he gets home from school! Sim is 5 and a half and has Down’s Syndrome. He finds it very difficult to read books or try and draw/write when paper is placed directly on the table and we have been searching for a slope that enables him to do this, but have never managed to find one that hasn’t got a big lip, sits too close to the table, etc. The one you have made is absolutely fantastic and will be PERFECT! I love the attention to detail! The carry handle, the magnetic strips, the plastic tabs to keep books open, the pen slots, etc. Please do thank the team for all the hard work that has gone in to producing this for him. We really are immensely grateful.”

If this is of interest to you, please give us a call on 01792 483688 to discuss your requirements!

Tom’s Playring

Tom and his playring

Tom and his playring

Tom’s mum sent us a great picture of the Playring thanks to Cerebra.

The charity provided a Playring for Tom from the toy library, as well as helping them with a GoToSeat.

As you can see in their pictures, Tom loves both. He has developmental delay, but the Playring and GoToSeat help him sit up and take part in his physio to aid his development.

It also means he can join the family and enjoy shopping trips.

“He loves being in the trolley,” his mum Laura told us. “We’re so grateful to the charity.”

The GoToSeat was developed by Leckey and our Cerebra Innovation Centre. Take a look around our website to learn more.

Don’t forget that Cerebra receives no government funding – all of this is thanks to your support!