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March '11


Tuesday Feb. 26, 2011

Homebuilt Assistive Devices for the Disabled

Tom Jeary

Tom has been inventing, designing and building assistive devices for the disabled since 1971.  He is known in the community and builds the devices on request for several organizations in the KW area.  For Tom this is a hobby and an opportunity to help disabled people do something that most of us take for granted.  His first project was to build small, wheeled, low chairs for children with Spina Bifida. This provided these children with mobility.

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The devices Tom designs are in 2 broad categories:

· Mobility – to allow people to move around or perform functions that give them some degree of independence

· Communication – to allow people to operate devices even if they have very little ability to operate the device

Although a lot of work is done for children, Tom does work for any age. 

The ultimate reward for Tom is the look of happiness on the persons face when they are able to do something they were otherwise unable to do themselves.

Examples of his work include:


  • Skis that attach to a wheelchair

  • Changes to exercise equipment so the person can maintain cardio-vascular function and avoid skin deterioration

  • Knife mount to allow for safe use

  • Special devices to allow sports equipment to be controlled by the persons hands rather than feet

  • Specially designed walkers and bicycles

  • Devices to allow people to play various games

  • Devices to allow people to hold their head up

  • Fishing devices

  • A device to allow a person to transfer from their bed to a wheel chair without assistance

  • A device to allow a person to put their hair in a ponytail when they only had use of one hand

  • Page turners

  • Telephone holders

  • Special pad to toss dice

  • TV and other controls

  • Adjustable table top for a typewriter/keyboard

  • Wheel chair camera mounts

  • Special pen grip

More information on the projects can be found on the Website .