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Sophie Morgan was just an ordinary kid growing up in the South of England. A little bit of a wild child, a little bit naughty, but normal all the same.

“I hadn’t really got much direction. I was just working it all out as you do at that age.”

The night her A level exam results were released was a big deal. Sophie and her friends had been at a celebration party and she was driving everyone home.

“It was a typical young driver scenario, full of friends, music, it was late. I hadn’t had my license for very long.”

A combination of all of these factors came into play, along with Sophie’s inexperience and she lost control of the car.

She suffered extensive injuries, breaking her spine at T4, and sustaining significant damage to her face and head. Needing a lot of surgery and reconstruction she spent three months in intensive care, then rehabilitation and back out the other side.

It was an extremely difficult time. I don’t remember a lot of it.

Sophie MorganInclusion Revolutionist

Sophie quickly came to terms with the fact that the crash was her fault alone and was grateful that

her friends hadn’t been physically harmed. But mentally and emotionally, the experience left scars that would take a long time to heal.

“I don’t know what it would’ve been like if they had injured me or I them. It was a saving grace. But to this day, they’re reluctant passengers.”

Sophie’s tendency to push boundaries kept her moving though and she very quickly got herself back behind the wheel of a car, knowing that learning to drive would play an important role in achieving her own independence.

That was her main coping mechanism – focusing on what she could still do, not what she couldn’t. Then, finding ways to teach herself the things she didn’t know how to do.

Like learning how to get in and out of the bath, to sit on the toilet, so she could stay the night with friends who didn’t have an adaptive bathroom.

“I found the tricks I needed to live life without adaptations as much as possible.”

At such a young age, Sophie felt like she was coming back into the world with a blank slate. Her sense of identity wasn’t truly formed yet, and she took it as a blessing that she could go out and be whoever she wanted to be.

“No partner, no responsibilities, no job, but I hadn’t lived a huge life. There were things I hadn’t done. There were pros and cons for sure.”

But Sophie wanted to be as positive as possible and pursued her dream of becoming an artist, going headstrong into art school.

One of Sophie’s main drivers in life is to make the world more accessible to better support the disabled community. But here she says she exercises caution, because there is a danger with making things too adaptive.

“The more we rely on equipment and gadgets, the more we become dependent.”

The more you are able to adapt to the environment the better, rather than waiting for the environment to adapt to meet your needs, says Sophie.

“The first time I tried to climb in the bath was like climbing a mountain.”

But now she can do it with ease – and in fact finds it easier than using a shower chair. So Sophie has taught herself how to deal with the little things.

“The stuff I knew I would come up against – the world is not adapted for us.”

While now things have changes, and need are likely to be met, more often than not, if a newly injured person surrounds themselves with gadgets, she says it’s a trap.

“I’m all for making things accessible but if they’re not, I’m going challenge my emotions into creativity, I’m not going to be boxed in this cage, going to adapt and find a way.”

This is something Sophie learnt either the hard or the good way – or maybe both. In her work with the BBC she travelled to West Africa to film a documentary, The World’s Worst Place to Be Disabled?

Here Sophie took a step outside her front door and discovered disabled people being sacrificed, chained to trees, and taken to camps.

“The struggles are real – you see stuff like that, then come back to the UK and New Zealand, and realise we’re very lucky in lots of ways.”

It’s no way near perfect and Sophie spends a lot of her time fighting the systems alongside lawyers, holding big retailers to account over lack of access.

“We have laws to protect us that often aren’t enforced, it leaves us behind, we’re not able to contribute properly to society.”

Sophie has a lot on her plate – so much so her mum frequently jokes “for a paralysed person you never sit still!”

But she claims, that after her accident she took every opportunity and now, she’s both reaping the rewards and suffering the consequences of being so unbelievably busy.

Rediscovering her passion for art and drawing was a coping mechanism for Sophie, who used certain drawing techniques to help her cope with certain aspects of her injury.

Her art has become a successful side project, with her selling her pieces and also doing commissions. But her career path changed when she was still in art school and she received a call from the hospital where she had done her rehabilitation.

The staff member on the other end told her the BBC had been in touch – “looking for crazy disabled people” – and she immediately thought of Sophie.

The BBC wanted to take 11 different disabled people across Nicaragua. Sophie said yes in a heartbeat.

“It was the craziest thing I’ve ever done, and I would never do it again. But it was an amazing experience.”

Most of all it forced Sophie to come to terms with exactly how disabled she was. She had been proud of the way she had come back to the real world after rehabilitation, proud of her independence, but now she found herself face to face with all the challenges of the jungle.

It was a wake up call. Outside of your own environment, you are disabled.

Sophie MorganInclusion Revolutionist

This was Sophie’s first bit of TV work and when someone said she should try presenting, the seed was planted, and her TV career was launched. In her role as a presenter, Sophie feels she has a certain responsibility to shape the way disabled people are seen on TV, in the media and also to challenge and be a voice for those who need it.

One of the big turning points for disabled people in the UK, says Sophie, was the broadcasting of the Paralympics in 2012. By giving Paralympians mainstream coverage, it really normalised disability.

“Paralympic sport mainstream coverage at the London games was ground breaking and amazing, and the marketing at that time was very deliberate, very specific, but quite divisive.”

The campaign the marketers had gone with was Paralympians as “Super humans” and while this changed the dialogue completely, it didn’t sit well with the general disabled community who weren’t athletes.

“What people saw was that disabled people could do sport, but they didn’t think about the other stuff, like the fact that many of us struggle to get to work every day.”

The next time round, in Rio, a new campaign was launched – “Yes I can”, displaying disabled people doing day to day things.

Currently, Sophie says work is being done for the 2020 Tokyo games.

“We’re not in a great place in the UK in terms of certain situations, it’s a political conversation, it’s bigger than sport – redefining what disability means and how we are broadcast.”

In amongst her TV job, her role as a consultant for retailers and brands, and a regulator for what should and shouldn’t be allowed on TV, Sophie is also trying to get her motorbike license. And when she gets it, she has plans to take on a trip round the world.

In terms of the accessible world as a market, it’s hugely untapped – a space with up to 260 billion pounds of spending power. It’s slowly, slowly expanding and growing says Sophie, with companies and businesses starting to see the potential to make money.

While businesses might only have their financial gains in mind, Sophie doesn’t care. As long as it’s happening and the disabled community is being served, that’s enough for her.

In general Sophie says she does tend to set the bar high for herself. As a result, her low moments can be incredibly low.

She spent three years on bed rest as the result of a pressure sore, she’s had recurring skin problems, infections, incontinence issues, the lot. Outwardly it might seem like everything is fine, but Sophie wants people to realise that isn’t always the case.

“I set those goals because I worry about the time when I can’t do things.”

Her sores flare up every now and again – meaning back to bed rest, which is absolute torture for Sophie. But she spends that time thinking of all the things she is going to do when she is back up and running.

While she might seem extreme, the key message Sophie is trying to promote is that, no matter what, there is a way to achieve your ambitions.

“There’s resources, we’ll help find a way.”

Even her own mother questions why she does these crazy things but Sophie maintains if she were to stop, she would be incredibly bored.

You can find out more about Sophie on her website, or follow her on Instagram @Sophlmorg and Twitter: @sophmorgTV

If you’d rather listen than read…

Listen to the Podcast with Sophie Morgan now.

Currency

Retractor Location Guide - Lower Horizontal Frame Tube

Watch the video or read on below
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Brackets Used

If you choose to mount the Retractors from the lower horizontal frame tube you’ll receive two 90 Brackets (as seen below) – one for the left and one for the right side of your chair.

The Retractors slot onto these Brackets, which are then attached vertically to the Lower Horizontal Frame Tube using Clamps.

Bracket Orientation

The Brackets have a tilt feature which allows you to adjust the angle of the Retractor so that it is parallel to the Keeper, for the smoothest operation.

Key Dimensions

The clamps are 16mm or ⅝” wide

The maximum distance from the centre of the Clamp to the centre of the Retractor webbing when mounted on the 90 Bracket is 70mm (3″).

Retractor Dimensions
The Retractors themselves are 75mm wide by 50mm high or 3×2″
Moving Other Attachments

Finally, it is worth noting that other attachments, such as brakes and side guard clamps can often be moved to accommodate the LapStacker® without compromising their function.

Need Help?

If this is the only option you’ve been given, it doesn’t look like it will work, or you’ve still got questions, then please contact us or your preferred reseller, and we’ll do our best to help.

Retractor Location Guide - Front Vertical Frame Tube

Play Video
Brackets Used

If you choose to mount the Retractors from the front vertical frame tube you’ll receive two Flat Brackets (as seen below) – one for the left and one for the right side of your chair.

The Retractors slot onto these Brackets, which are then attached to the front vertical frame tube using clamps.
Bracket Orientation

The Brackets have a single long slot and rotate feature, which provides plenty of adjustability so that you can align the Retractor webbing with the centre of the Keeper. 

Key Dimensions

The clamps are 16mm or ⅝” wide.

The maximum distance from the centre of the Clamp to the centre of the Retractor webbing when mounted on the Flat Bracket is 105mm (4 1/8″).

If the front vertical frame tube is too far forward to allow the Retractor webbing to align with your optimal Keeper position, or you don’t think you’ll have clearance from your legs, you may need to consider other Retractor locations available for your make and model.

The Retractors themselves are 75mm wide by 50mm high or 3×2″

Moving Other Attachments

Finally, it is worth noting that other attachments, such as brakes and side guard clamps can often be moved to accommodate the LapStacker® without compromising their function.

Need Help?

If this is the only option you’ve been given and it doesn’t look like it will work, or you’ve still got questions, then please contact us, or your preferred reseller, and we’ll do our best to help.

Retractor Location Guide - Cross Frame Rigidizer Bar

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Brackets Used

If you choose to mount the Retractors from the cross frame rigidizer bar, you’ll receive two Cross Tube Brackets (as seen below) – one for the left and one for the right side of your chair.

The Retractors slot onto these Brackets, which are then attached to the cross frame rigidizer bar using clamps.

Bracket Orientation

The Brackets have slots in them to allow plenty of adjustability so that you can align the Retractor webbing with the centre of the Keeper.

Key Dimensions

The clamps are 16mm or ⅝” wide.

The maximum distance from the centre of the Clamp to the centre of the Retractor webbing when mounted on the Cross Tube Bracket is 90mm ( 3.5″).

The Retractors themselves are 75mm wide by 50mm high or 3×2″

Leg Clearance

Please note, there must be clearance from the back of your legs, so we suggest mounting the Bracket and Retractor back a little bit from the edge of your cushion.

Seat Clearance

The Brackets are best tilted slightly downward, so the Retractors don’t touch the seat when the chair is in use.

Moving Other Attachments

Finally, it is worth noting that other attachments, such as brakes and side guard clamps can often be moved to accommodate the LapStacker® without compromising their function.

Need Help?

If this is the only option you’ve been given, it doesn’t look like it will work, or you’ve still got questions, then please contact us, or your preferred reseller, and we’ll do our best to help.

Retractor Guide – Frame Top Tube

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Brackets Used

If you choose to mount the Retractors from the frame top tube, you’ll receive two 90 Brackets (as seen below). One for the left and one for the right side of your chair.

The Retractors slot onto these Brackets, which are then attached to the top tube using clamps.

Bracket Orientation

Depending on what clearance you have available, the Brackets can be mounted forward of the clamp (above) or behind the clamp (below) to ensure that the Retractor webbing can align with the optimal keeper position.

The Brackets have a tilt feature which allows you to adjust the angle of the Retractor so that it is parallel to the Keeper, for the smoothest operation.

Key Dimensions

The clamps are 16mm or ⅝” wide.

The maximum distance from the centre of the clamp to the centre of the Retractor webbing when mounted on the 90 Bracket is 70mm or 3″.

The Retractors themselves are 75mm wide by 50mm high or 3×2″

Recommended Configuration

The Brackets are best mounted horizontally and tilted slightly downward, so the Retractors are tucked away and don’t touch the seat when the chair is in use.

 

It is very important to note that there must be clearance from the back of your legs, so we suggest mounting the Bracket and Retractor back a little bit from the edge of your cushion.

Moving Other Attachments
Finally, it is worth noting that other attachments, such as brakes and side guard clamps can often be moved to accommodate the LapStacker® clamp without compromising their function.
Need Help?

If this is the only option you’ve been given and it doesn’t look like it will work, or you’ve still got questions, then please contact us and we’ll do our best to assist.

Side Guard Keeper Guide

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Introduction
The Side Guard Keeper is what we consider the last resort. It is only recommended after the Long and Short Keepers have been exhausted as options.
How is the Side Guard Keeper Mounted?

The Side Guard Keeper mounts inside, or cushion side, of your side guards (otherwise known as the wheel guards or clothing guards). It is fixed in place using an adhesive patch. 

 

It is not recommended for fabric side guards, although it can work there with some custom modification.

When is the Side Guard Keeper an Option?

The Side Guard Keeper could be an option when there is not enough space for a Long or Short Keeper and the side guard extends sufficiently forward of your body so that it comes close to the optimal Keeper position.

Some wheelchair makes such as the Hands on Concept range of chairs have oversized side guards and these are good examples of where a side guard can work.

Recommended Configuration

We recommend the Side Guard Keeper is located so it doesn’t sit higher than your cushion. 

 

From the testing we have done in that location, it should not interfere with the body or be a problem for skin pressure. We do recommend CAUTION and suggest that this is assessed carefully.
Retractor Alignment

Remember, the Keeper must align with the Retractor webbing so please keep this in mind as you review the Retractor Location Guides.

Need Help?

If this is the only option you’ve been given and it doesn’t look like it will work, or you’ve still got questions, then please contact us, or your preferred reseller, and we’ll do our best to assist.

Short Keeper Guide

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Mounting Options

The Short Keeper can be mounted to your wheelchair frame’s top tube in three ways.

1. Snap-Fit Mount

If your wheelchair has a 1” or 25mm frame top tube, the Short Keeper will be supplied with a snap fitting that is simply pressed in place onto the tubing. 

The Short Keeper is then fastened to the snap fitting and can be fine-tuned by sliding it forward and back, before tightening the bolt with the supplied allen key.

 

You’ll require 1” or 25mm of relatively flat clear space on the tubing for the snap fit mount and 55mm or 2 3/16” for the Short Keeper itself.

2. Universal Mount

If your wheelchair has a frame top tube diameter that is any size other than 1” or 25mm then a universal mount will be supplied.

The universal mount attaches via two supplied cable ties and requires 1 ⅜” or 35mm of relatively flat space on the frame top tubing to be mounted effectively.

 

Again, the position of the Short Keeper can then be fine tuned by sliding it forward and back on the universal mount.

3. Direct Mount

The Short Keeper can also be mounted directly to the tubing without the snap fit or universal mount using the supplied cable ties and rubber pad. 

Common Scenarios

There are three common scenarios where the Short Keeper is used.

Scenario 1 - Folding Wheelchairs

The first scenario is for folding wheelchairs (as below) that have a separate seat frame that moves up and down as it folds.

In this scenario the Short Keeper fixes to the frame top tube, not the seat frame, so that when the seat frame moves up and down the Short Keeper does not move.

 

If you have a folding wheelchair that doesn’t have a separate seat frame that moves up and down independently of the main frame, then the Long Keeper may be the better option for you.

Scenario 2 - Forward of the Seat Base

When there is not enough space to Velcro a Long Keeper to the solid or upholstery seat base, a Short Keeper can be mounted forward of your seat base provided there is enough flat area of tubing to mount it. 

 

Please refer to the three mounting options above to determine if you have enough space to mount the Short Keeper in this position.

Important Note - Leg Clearance

It is important to note, that in all cases where the Short Keeper is mounted forward of the seat base, the Retractors should NOT be located horizontally off the frame top tube or cross frame rigidizer bar as they will be in the way of your legs.

 

In this case, the Retractors will need to be mounted from the lower horizontal frame tube or the front vertical frame tube if these options are available for your chair. 

More about these locations is provided in the Retractor Location Guides.

Space for Hands

If you use your frame top tube as a hand hold for transfers then you may want to consider how much space you will have available after mounting the Short Keeper, remembering that it is 55mm (2 3/16”) wide. 

 

If there is insufficient space on top, you may consider mounting the Short Keeper directly under the top tube (as shown above) to give you more clearance.

Scenario 3 - With Strap/Belt Seat Upholstery

The Short Keeper may be suitable for rigid wheelchairs that use a strap/belt system for their seat base, particularly when there are doubts about aligning the Long Keeper up with these straps, or the surface area available to fix the adhesive velcro. 

 

This is covered in more detail in the Long Keeper Guide.

Retractor Alignment

Remember, the Keeper must align with the Retractor webbing so you may have to come back to the Keeper guides to double check your choice after you’ve reviewed the Retractor Location Guides.

Please Note

Unless asked, you do not have to know the frame top tube diameter of your wheelchair as this is automatically selected for you based on your make and model. 

Need Help?

If this is the only option you’ve been given, it doesn’t look like it will work, or you’ve still got questions, then please contact us or your preferred reseller, and we’ll do our best to help.

Long Keeper Guide

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Space Required for the Long Keeper

The Long Keeper requires 55mm or 2 3/16” of space on your solid or upholstery seat base forward of any side guards.

Is There Enough Room?

Do you have this room available? Will the location of the Keeper be close to your optimal position? If so, then the Long Keeper could work for you.

How is it Attached?

The Long Keeper attaches to the rigid or upholstery seat base, using adhesive Velcro which is provided. 

It is worth noting that an upholstery seat base or strap system often has velcro sewn into it already and this can be used in addition to the Velcro provided.

What About Strap/Belt Style Seat Upholstery?

If you have a strap system for your seat base, then you will need to determine if there is a strap close enough to your optimal Keeper position to velcro or tape the Long Keeper to.

You may be able to move the straps so that they are inline with your preferred Keeper position and if a strap already has Velcro on it, you may be able to use this in addition to the velcro supplied.

If the strap can’t be moved or you’re not sure you can stick the Long Keeper to it, then selecting the Short Keeper (shown below), which attaches directly to the top frame tube of your wheelchair, may be a better option. You can learn more in the Short Keeper Guide.

What About Folding Wheelchairs?

If you have a folding wheelchair with a rising seat frame the Long Keeper won’t be suitable and a Short Keeper will be a better option.

Retractor alignment

The other factor that is important is making sure the webbing from the Retractor lines up with the optimal Keeper position.

Need help?

If this is the only option you’ve been given, it doesn’t look like it will work, or you’ve still got questions, then please contact us or your preferred reseller, and we’ll do our best to help.

Keeper Location Overview

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Choosing the Best Keeper Location

While in your wheelchair look down at your side and imagine using the LapStacker® to secure an item. Find the midpoint for this object and take a note of where this position is on your wheelchair frame’s top tube.

Ideally, the Keepers are positioned central to where you will carry items, but the LapStacker® will still work if forward or back of this point. 

Keeper and Retractor Alignment

It is important to note that the Keeper needs to be in a position where the webbing from the Retractor can pass freely up into the Keeper and they also need to be aligned. 

Keeper Guides

Each Keeper style has its own Guide which will help you determine its suitability. Please review these guides in the next step of the selection process. 

Need help?

If, for some reason, none of the Keeper options look like they will work for you, or you’re unsure of something, then please feel free to contact us, or your preferred reseller, and we’ll do our best to help.

Key Component Overview

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Retractors

Every LapStacker® Set has two Retractors (seen below) – one for each side of your wheelchair. These contain the tensioned strap and locking mechanism.

Retractor Locations

Depending on your wheelchair make and model, you’ll be given a number of options for where the Retractors can be mounted. 

These locations include the frame top tube, the cross frame rigidizer bar, the front vertical frame tube, and lastly, the lower horizontal frame tube which is common on folding chairs and dual tube rigid wheelchairs.

Clamps and Brackets

The Retractors mount to the wheelchair frame using a specific Clamp and Bracket (there are many types, including the 90 Bracket and  1″ Clamp seen below). 

These are both automatically selected once your preferred Retractor mounting location is chosen.

They are made from high quality and lightweight aluminium, with a stylish anodized finish.

Buckles

The Buckles attach to the Retractor straps. They use high strength magnets to guide the two sides together, then lock mechanically as the straps tighten.

They are precision machined from aircraft grade aluminium for strength and anodized for a stylish finish.

 

The Buckles are held in place by your side using Keepers. 

Keepers

We’ve designed three styles of Keeper and you’ll be asked to choose one from the available options for your chair. 

Long Keeper

The Long Keeper velcros to the wheelchair seat upholstery, or rigid seat base.

Short Keeper

The Short Keeper connects directly to the frame top tube.

Side Guard Keeper

The Side Guard Keeper mounts on the cushion side of a wheelchair’s side guards