May 26, 2011 The brightly coloured red and yellow aid fits onto a standard toilet and is the idea of final year Product Design Technology student Joe Bennett.
It features a backrest and straps that can be secured around the trunk to offer additional support. It is lightweight, easily assembled and can be carried around in a washable bag.
"Children with cerebral palsy face difficulties in relation to toileting outside the home or school as they require high levels of support and stability when using a toilet,'' said Joe.
Joe, 23, of Surrey who currently lives in Heaton, Newcastle, added: "Without such support many parents understandably opt for the solution of permanently putting their child into nappies or simply do not take them out at all, resulting in these children missing out on many life experiences.''
He added: "My focus was to design a portable toileting aid that would allow these children to take part in more everyday activities that required them to be away from home or school for long periods so that they would no longer have to miss out or have their dignity compromised.''
As part of his research into the disability, he worked with occupational therapist Michele McCafferty from the Percy Hedley Foundation School in Forest Hall which offers a unique approach to teaching children with disabilities.
Michele was delighted to work with him on his idea as parents have often complained to her about the difficulties of toileting their children when away from home.
She said: "There are various types and degrees of cerebral palsy, some of which can cause involuntary movements so it's important that they feel safe and secure. Joe's design seems to offer all the necessary features but has the added bonus of being lightweight and portable, allowing parents to take it with them when out shopping or on holiday.''
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