in order to use a smart phone or tablet, it can be useful to mount the device, fixing it in position on a wheelchair or bed. There are many ways to do this – mounts from accessible technology or mobility shops will generally be around £300-£700 and mounts on Amazon or Ebay around £20 – £100.
If you don’t use a tray on your wheelchair, a more sturdy (and expensive) clamping option for mounting might be needed – the last thing you want is an expensive device smashing on the floor as you move around!
A clamp does have the advantage of also being flexible in that you can attach it to part of your wheelchair / bed or table and it will still be held at a good viewing angle.
Types of mounts:
- DAESSY, provide heavy-duty, rigid and folding wheelchair mounts for viewing or operating via voice commands or switches. Prices available on request. Available in the UK from a number of suppliers including Techcess and Mounts and More, and RRP up to £700
- RAM Mounts – very popular range (not just to mount tablets or phones)
- The iKross has a sturdy spring clip so it won’t fall off if you lean heavily on the tablet. It also has a rotating shaft, 180 degrees lever and ball head joint that means you can angle it in any direction. Useful if you want it high in the air or propped up on a table next to your hand. RRP £22 from Amazon. iKross holds most large phones and tablets
- A wide range of other mounts are available too – just search for smart phone mounts on Google!
Things to consider when buying a mount
If you can’t turn your head, you may need a screen directly in front of you at eye level. However, if you want the device to stay on your chair whilst moving, you also need a position to be able to see where you are going!
If you will be touching the device, look for a mount that has enough flexibility to hold the device next to your hands.
If you are having trouble finding a solution, some wheelchair services may be able to help you. You may need to pay privately if there is no clinical need. Charities that assist people with technology and communication solutions might also be able to help you find a good mounting solution
Consider browsing a photography store for a clamp, gooseneck (reticulated rod) or tripod. Some mounts can be moved by remote control – offering you the ability to angle it yourself on the go.
There are a range of attachments that give flexibility designed for smart phones and tablets – think laterally and look for attachements for bikes, boats and cars – they may fit your chair even
better than those made for ‘wheelchair users’.
“My husband made me a covered, wooden wedge, to prop up my phone on my wheelchair table for a good viewing angle, near my hands. I’ve been able to play the piano again using Garage Band on my devices”.Louise, UK
“For my tablet & phone I use cheap car holders with suction cups on the bottom”.Daniel, UK
“I have a custom built system which combines both a DAESSY mount and RAM mount. This gives me a really secure mount with a flexible end for easy positioning. This was the best solution for me because I like to drive with the phone mount but I don’t use a wheelchair tray. It was tricky to find a solution that didn’t interfere with the many different positions of my highly-adjustableJon, UK
wheelchair so I found support from a private wheelchair service really helpful”
“My iPad is held by a Manfrotto Superclamp and Manfrotto Flexible Arm (50cm). I use a camera ball head mount attached to a Grifiti Nootle for iPad 2/3/4Mark, UK