Custom seating has long been the go-to option for wheelchair riders with highly complex postures that couldn’t be accommodated by off-the-shelf products. But especially given new technology and manufacturing that drastically reduces its production timeline, should custom seating be considered for more riders?
Tom Hetzel, co-founder and CEO of Ride Designs, suggests that considering custom seating sooner could result in better outcomes for all stakeholders.
In the latest Mobility Management podcast, Hetzel said, “What I want to think about is changing the paradigm of how we consider custom [seating]. I think custom as a rule has been relegated to a last-ditch effort, not so much because that’s the right approach, but because of product limitations in the past.”
Instead, Hetzel contended, custom seating could be the best approach not just for those wheelchair riders who can’t be seated any other way, but also for riders when standard products fall short.
“The idea is identifying consistent and persistent postural challenges that cannot be satisfactorily addressed with simple, off-the-shelf products,” Hetzel said.