Mounting assistive technology onto a wheelchair can greatly enhance the accessibility of devices and increase the independence of individuals with disabilities. There are various options available to securely attach assistive devices to wheelchairs, depending on the specific needs of the user.
There are a variety of mounts available which consist of clamps, brackets, and poles that can be used to mount devices onto a wheelchair. These can be attached to different parts of the wheelchair frame, such as the backrest, armrest, or seat rail, depending on the desired location of the assistive technology and finding a secure location.
Most mounts are designed to be attached directly to the wheelchair’s tubing as they provide a stable base for mounting devices like communication devices, trays, or switches.
Some examples of products are below.
Ram mounts are a mainstream supplier of mounts for electronic devices within cars, bikes, and trucks. They are a popular brand of mounting solutions that offer versatile options for attaching devices. They consist of a ball-and-socket system that allows for easy adjustment and positioning.
Below is a sample of a RAM mount, however, their website offers more options.
This mounting system is low-cost, easy to install and suitable for switches and mobile phones. It is not suitable for heavier communication devices.
The good: It’s reasonably priced, with lots of component options.
The not so good: Not designed for wheelchair mounting, so you’re limited to where it can be fitted onto a wheelchair.
The verdict: A good option for anyone wanting to mount a phone onto their wheelchair on a tight budget.
Rehadapt has a large range of fixing clamps that will do for nearly every wheelchair. They also have adjustable clamp options such as the one below, although they don’t fit on as securely.
Light 3D wheelchair mount with one tube and one joint with a screw joint. The L3D-WC 2AK is a two-pole version of this. You can combine with any cradle with REHAdapt’s Spigot Link System (SLS).
Onto the end of the REHAdapt’s Spigot Link System, there a various options. Some universal cradles are below.
Device adapter with Spigot Link System (SLS) for mounting Mobile Phone Medium 62-77mm * -14mm (2 1/2″-3″ * -1/2″) to REHAdapt´s Light 3D system.
Rehadapt have a universal cradle for mounting tablets of various sizes
Adjustable tablet holder for mounting any tablet from between 7” and 13″ to a wheelchair with Rehadapt’s Universal Device Socket (UDS). The tablet mount works with Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy tablets, with and without protective cases.
The good: It looks good. Lots of component options and excellent for mounting onto a wheelchair.
The not-so-good: Expensive parts.
The verdict: A very secure mounting option for expensive devices
Daessy mounting system
The Dassey mounting system has a wide range of brackets, device adaptor plates and connecting bars that will fit most tablets onto a wheelchair. It’s a good option for mounting, but it’s a bit heavy-duty for a light device such as an iPad.
Daessy has several Standard Daessy Wheelchair Mounts that allow the mount to fold behind or to the side of the chair. They also have wheelchair mounts with the option for the user to release their mount to swing to the side and lock it out of position.
The good: Lots of component options and excellent for mounting onto a wheelchair.
The not-so-good: Expensive parts. Lacks a good universal tablet holder.
The verdict: Similar to Rehadapt a very secure mounting option for expensive devices
Mount’n Mover has several wheelchair mount options, which are compatible with iPads, tablets, laptops and phones when paired with the right device plate. The wheelchair mounting system includes a range of mounts with customisable locks-setters that provide repeatable user-specific positioning. A feature of this mounting system that makes it unique is that it is easy for the user to move their device from one lock position to another.
The good: easy for the user to move their device from one position to another.
The not-so-good: Only a limited range of clamps making it difficult to mount to some wheelchairs. It also lacks a good universal tablet holder.
The verdict: A secure mounting option that allows for easy user repositioning.
When considering mounting options, it’s crucial to ensure that the chosen method does not compromise the wheelchair’s stability, manoeuvrability, or the safety of the user. Working with a healthcare professional, such as an occupational therapist or assistive technology specialist, can help determine the best mounting solution for each individual’s specific needs. Additionally, it’s essential to regularly inspect and maintain the mounted devices and attachments to ensure their continued safety and functionality.