Today I got a Trabasack sent to me to try. Its like a cross between a wheelchair tray and a bag! It was designed by a wheelchair user.
I got it cos its difficult to balance Lightwriter on knees to chat especially when I am outdoors and have taken the Da Vinci chair which raises knees slightly for positioning so I can’t slide off. I also use Nu Drive Levers with this chair which give me more independence when going shopping with friend.
I don’t like been pushed anyway unless its necessary (uphill!) because as a deaf person it also cuts off communication as person is behind me and I can’t see what they are saying whether they are signing or me lip-reading them I need them to be walking alongside me and slightly infront for optimal communication.
The Trabasack comes in different designs and colours and are under £50 it has many advantages over the traditional style tray or communication aid mount. You can leave the waist strap attached and put it over your head then just tighten the strap around your waist, I personally find this easier, but it also has clips which some people may find easier to just undo one of the clips to get it back off.
It comes in a curved design or a smaller more square ‘laptop bag’ design.
You can have the leather look top which also has clips around top for you to clip things to or use to attach it to your chair frame/armrests.
I got the Velcro top so just need to stick some sticky backed velcro to underside of things like Lightwriter, iPods, mobile, keyboard or switches whatever you want to carry on it, it will hold them in place.
I thought the Velcro feature would be good for any one with tremors to hold things in place whilst you press buttons like on TV remote.
This makes my lightwriter safe to not fall off it as I can also attach it the D rings. If I was gonna be in chair most of day like electric chair for hospital appointment I can attach the side straps too to arm rest so Lightwriter can stay on tray in place without me having to get it out of bag to talk to ambulance personnel then back in a bag to get myself into reception then out again to tell them my name etc.
If I was going to council meeting where usually an interpreter and other deaf people there anyway but sometimes need Lightwriter with some people, I can use Trabasack as a bag to put it in and put over back of chair. Its there if I need it. eg part of time we are sat around tables so wouldnt need tray but when we go off into groups we are sat around in a circle so can quickly put Trabasack onto my lap to make it easier to type with Lightwriter if I needed to.
I like the fact that it is very versatile and can be used in different ways in different situations at home can just be used as a tray its really comfy on legs my external iMac keyboard that I use for laptop slides off the old plastic topped tray frequently but just sticking velcro to bottom of that and the switch I use will hold them both in place to chat comfortably in bed or on sofa.
Its quick and easy to get on and off if you only need it on for short periods and need to be able to remove it yourself easily and it can be fastened to your chair (by other people if necessary) if you want it to stay in place whilst you drive/propel your chair whilst keeping your items in place.
I think it would suit most people who are ‘semi-mobile’ and need something to balance things on legs in chair occasionally but don’t want a big solid wheelchair tray attaching or who uses a sporty style chair with no arm rests.
To see all available designs and colours go: