Accessible product design and Sir Guttmann’s legacy

Last weekend’s Anniversary Games was a great event which showcased the talents of some the greatest sports men and women in the world.

The athletics and swmming events on Sunday did not disappoint. There were some amazing sporting performances from the likes of Richard Whitehead and Sophie Hermitage, who were out celebrating National Paralympic Day.

 

The success of the Paralympic Games, which is attributed to Sir Ludwig Guttmann’s visionary commitment to restoring confidence and self-belief to people living with disabilities, has inspired millions of people across the world and challenged perceptions of what can be achieved.

More recently, role models including swimmer Ellie Simmonds and equestrian star Sophie Christiansen have encouraged people to talk openly about disability, and their outlook on life has challenged the mindset of previous generations.

Guttmann’s legacy is not just seen in sporting achievement, but also through the evolution of accessible equipment.

Accessible product design has come on leaps and bounds since 1948. From prosthetics enabling athletes like Richard Whitehead to run sub 25 seconds in the 200m to the emergence of the ‘sitski’, developments in the design industry have removed the barriers that had previously prevented people with disabilities from making the most of life.

The changing designs of the wheelchair also stands testament to this. Casper Schmitz’s concept of the transformable wheelchair is a far cry from the cumbersome Victorian wheelchairs and has the potential to allow wheelchair users to do things that would have once been unimaginable.

Guttmann’s vision of creating opportunities for people living with a disability has not only created a bright future for budding sportsmen and women but has given the design team at Motionspot the inspiration to keep challenging perceptions of what is possible in accessible design.

We are actively looking for talented product designers who share this same vision, and if you are interested in helping shape the next 60 years of accessible design please contact team@motionspot.co.uk

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