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We were thrilled with the news the Motivation is to receive a grant from HIF for the implementation stage of our project – to follow the invention stage. We have been working on developing a rapid response wheelchair and support package for emergency situations since October 2011 and are very excited that we now we have the opportunity to trial the implementation of this package.

We will be working primarily with Handicap International who have a lot of experience in emergency response – they will be integrating the emergency wheelchair package into their emergency response kits. These contain emergency equipment including items designed to address basic needs, as well as more specific items for disabled people such as temporary mobility aids. We will be testing the wheelchair response twice in 2013 – if there is a timely natural crisis we will use the opportunity to deploy the wheelchair package then, otherwise we will be testing the package in an ongoing chronic crisis.

We are bringing in a second partner to this phase of the project – Johanniter International Assistance. As well as helping to develop the training their role in the project will be to give feedback on the implementation from their own organisation’s perspective. This will help us ensure we develop a package that is appropriate for other organisations as well as Handicap International.

Our next steps are to finalise the design of the wheelchair and to develop a short training course to give field workers the basic skills they need to run a rapid response wheelchair service. We have run one set of field trails of the emergency wheelchair with Handicap International in Pakistan and are now incorporating the feedback from the trials into the design.

We’re looking forward to blogging about our progress here.

Sarah Sheldon – Programme Coordinator

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