Designing for people, for their environments and for change. 

Design has been at the heart of our work since the earliest days of Motivation. From projects to products, we believe in creating for a world in which disabled people are included and can fully participate in all aspects of life.  

Thoughtful product design and clever engineering has enabled me to travel, go to work and be independent. I think everyone should have that opportunity - no matter where they are in the world. – David Constantine, Motivation Co-Founder.

Designing for environment

Potholes, unpaved roads, open drains, uneven paths: they all create challenging terrain for wheelchair users in developing countries.

Our everyday wheelchairs are engineered and designed to allow disabled people to navigate their environment with confidence – whether they live in rural or urban areas.

We think carefully about all materials that go into our designs. Tough, durable materials that can be sourced locally, and easily maintained or fixed by local technicians are essential. So if a repair is needed, users aren’t waiting weeks for a new part.

Designing for people

Wearing the wrong size shoes day after day would cause you pain – and you’d probably do some long lasting damage. It’s the same with a wheelchair. The wrong size and shape creates life threatening challenges for disabled people.

Harrison's story says it all...

After a car accident, he was discharged from hospital with a poorly fitted wheelchair that quickly became painful. It was not suitable for the uneven ground around his home and limited his mobility. Isolated from friends and family, he became depressed. But his Motivation Rough Terrain wheelchair changed all that: he could get around on his own, giving him confidence and independence. Read more...

We ensure that all our everyday wheelchairs and supportive seats are adjustable to fit a range of different shapes and sizes.

But it’s not just about the product; we also promote the importance of all wheelchairs being provided by trained specialists so users get the right assessment, the right fit and the right support from their wheelchair.

We know that an attractive product can give wheelchair users dignity and confidence. That’s why we always strive to design wheelchairs that make people feel proud to use them.

Designing for change

Our work has been described as innovation pushing mainstream change. We aim to lead by example and often consult with governments and other organisations on wheelchair design and provision.

We worked with the World Health Organization to design global guidelines for assessing and fitting wheelchairs. They’ve become the gold standard worldwide.

We continually strive to improve our products; we’re not afraid to make changes that can help even more people. When users and partners told us that a more portable version of our Rough Terrain was needed, we took on the task to make a folding version.

Importantly, we ensure that our products are affordable so that they can be made widely available to as many people who need them as possible.

Designing for the future

New technologies will enable us to create the next generation of wheelchairs.

With funding from Google.org, we have researched the use of 3D printing technology to make bespoke postural support devices. These were then fitted to wheelchairs to make them even more adjustable to wheelchair users.

Our next challenge is to work towards creating fully customised wheelchairs. We are working on a new system that brings together tailored backrest design and bespoke chassis design with 3D printing and – crucially – local training. This project is part funded by the UK government’s Department for International Development through the Global Disability Innovation Hub’s AT:2030 programme.

Designing for sport

We first started designing wheelchairs for sport when the International Paralymic Committee suggested we turn our expertise to the task. Since then, we’ve supplied thousands of sports wheelchairs to more than 100 countries across the world.   

We focus on entry-level sports wheelchairs that can be used by anyone, anywhere. Easy for individuals to use – even complete beginners – and tough enough that clubs can loan them to multiple athletes.

Read more about Motivation’s ten years of sports wheelchair design.

Support Motivation

Help us provide more wheelchairs to disabled people living in poverty. Make a donation today.

 Photo © Matt Grayson