Courtney MacDonald

Ishan Aggarwal

Sumair ajanee

Michelle Zhou

Nik Makin
PROJECT: Pool Accessibility

wheelchair : spinal : cord : injury : swimming : TOM:Calgary :

About the project:
Part of TOM Calgary 2015

The Problem:
Need a lift system to help wheelchair users change into swimwear; need an alternative to a ramp for allowing water-wheelchair access to pool.

The Solution:
A manual crank lift system that is portable and can be utilized from the pool deck as well as in the change room without the use of a permanent track.


Courtney MacDonald wrote on September 06, 2015, 22:25 :

This is another potential. it definitely won't arrive by the weekend but if we have money leftover we could purchase it anyway and provide it to Nicola and Brad as a backup


Nik Makin wrote on September 02, 2015, 04:27 :

Hello Everyone,

Sumair and I had a productive meeting on Sunday and have furthered our design. 

As far as the lift system in question that Courtney sent us all, I asked Brad and he said that they are terribly awkward to deal with and not really a suitable option. Also the weight would be a factor for transport to and from the pool. 

Sumair and I were investigating pulley and gear systems to try and come up with a manual system, but there are some limitations. The pulley systems require too many ropes and dont provide enough mechanical advantage so unfortunately we are going to have to rule this out. On the gear side of things, Sumair did the math (Thank you!) and found out that get enough mechanical advantage to lift a human using gears you would need two gears, one which is 50x the size of the other. So this runs into a logictical problem because of the size and actually making the design work in a simple way.


Simply put; the current system using the electric lift is as simple as it gets, and unfortunately Nicola and Brad do not have the upper body strength to haul themselves up our proposed system. 

While at the pool I was running ideas by Nicola and she seemed excited about the idea of imporiving the rope and carabiner setup to something certified for climbing. So here is what Sumair and I think is the best viable option at this point:

1. Improve the rope portion of the system to something heavy-duty and durable

2. Create a water-resistant casing for the elecrtic unit to minimize the risk of a malfunction

The rope and carabiner can be purchased at Mountain Equipment Co op. (I can do this)

And we were thinking of something like this to encase the electric lift:

With come modification it could encase the lift protecting it from splashes and water and would be a practical option that really improves the current setup.

Hopefully we can all meet next week to discuss and actually start purchasing materials.



Courtney MacDonald 03.09.2015 20:10
Sounds good to me - to encase the electric lift I'm thinking maybe we buy some parts and 3D print any pieces we need to make it fit together around the cable?