Trial a Wizzybug with Yooralla's On the Move Program
Early powered mobility for young children with disability
Many people will require the use of a wheelchair at some point in their lives, while others will require one for their whole lives. While there is a broad range of wheelchairs for adults to suit different needs and different environments, the options for children are often very limited.
As a result, young children who require the use of a wheelchair have historically struggled to experience independent mobility at the same age their peers first would. Generally, children would have to wait until they were older to access a motorised wheelchair, which can lead to isolation and potentially falling behind in meeting important developmental stages.
With exciting new developments in technology, children under the age of five are now able to experience independent powered mobility through equipment like the Wizzybug.
What is a Wizzybug?
The Wizzybug is a fun, motorised wheelchair specially designed to empower young children, and support them to keep up with other children of the same age.
A fleet of Wizzybugs has been established for families to loan on a short-term basis, at no cost, thanks to the generosity of the William Buckland Foundation and Variety.
A great choice for early powered mobility, the Wizzybug:
- is age appropriate
- easy to maneuver, with child-friendly controls
- puts children at the same height and level as their peers
- fits under tables at kinder, and
- dismantles for travel.
The benefits of early powered mobility
Access to early powered mobility has been proven to help promote cognitive, social and emotional development in young children. Driving can be exploratory or more directional depending on the use of either a joystick or switch.
Early powered mobility can enhance children’s receptive communication and self-care skills. Early powered mobility devices are suitable for children as young as 20 months to use and learn to drive safely and independently.
How to apply for the One the Move Program
Yooralla’s On the Move program aims to encourage independent mobility for young children with disability and support access to early powered mobility devices, such as the Wizzybug.
Occupational Therapists and Physiotherapists based in Victoria can refer children with a disability, under the age of five, to trial and hire a Wizzybug (dependent upon an initial assessment for suitability).
Yooralla Occupational Therapists can then support families and referring therapists with how to best introduce an early powered mobility device, how to use the Wizzybug and ongoing support required for structured and unstructured training.
Jack and his Wizzybug
Jack was three years old when he first had the opportunity to trial a Wizzybug. Jack has cerebral palsy, quadriplegia and periventricular leukomalacia, uses Yooralla services and recently had the opportunity to trial one of these innovative new chairs.
As you can see in the YouTube video of Jack driving the Wizzybug, his smiles say more than words ever could! Read more about Jack’s story.
For further information about the program and referral forms contact the Independent Living Centre.
Phone: 03 9362 6111