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Why the Omeo wheelchair is a ‘gamechanger’ for Steve

Updated: 2 days ago







When customer Steve took delivery of his new Omeo wheelchair, he wasn’t the only one excited to get to grips with all it could do. His assistance dog was on a ‘journey’ too…

 

‘Having an assistance dog has certainly added a whole other dimension to learning to use an Omeo wheelchair,’ says Steve.

 

‘Learning how to have her walk on the lead next to me and managing this device when dogs will do what dogs will do – she still doesn’t love it but she’s done very well.’

 

And it sounds as though Steve’s ‘done very well’ too.

 

As he reveals: ‘We have a few trails close by that lead into the country where I can let her off. She likes to race me and initially she’d always win, but now I’m comfortable enough to outpace her if I get close to the Omeo’s top speed!’


Accessing help to buy


Steve had wanted an Omeo wheelchair since 2019 when he first tried one at an accessibility expo in California. ‘I thought, I need to see how I can afford this,’ he recalls.

 

Shortly after relocating from the US in 2023 to teach at the New Model Institute for Technology and Engineering (NMITE) in Hereford, he saw that Adapt Ability were running an Omeo wheelchairtry me’ day in Cardiff.

 

‘I got down there, tried one again and started my application for an Access to Work grant to help fund my new device,’ he says.

 

Access to Work is the government scheme which can help people get or stay in work if they have a physical or mental health condition, illness or disability.

 

Some of our customers have already used Access to Work to buy their self-balancing tech. Happily, that group now includes Steve.

 

Find out more about Access to Work and how Adapt Ability has teamed up with Accessibility Partners to make it easier to apply here.


A game-changing piece of tech 





Steve is certainly putting his new Omeo wheelchair through its paces now.

 

‘I love it,’ he confirms. ‘It’s definitely going to be a gamechanger, especially with my work in construction where for the most part we’re on building sites.

 

‘For me to visit those in a wheelchair can be very difficult – having a device like the Omeo means I can at least tackle some of the terrain, for sure.’

 

In February he also went to London for a conference, using public transport to travel from his hotel to the venue each day.


Getting around with ease 


‘Taking my Omeo on the Underground for the first time was so much easier than taking my manual wheelchair,’ he says. ‘I zipped right on and off from accessible stations.

 

‘King’s Cross was closest to the conference and I was able to cover the 1.2 miles to it in less than 25 minutes. In my manual wheelchair I would have had to get a bus or taxi to go that distance.

 

‘The conference itself was crowded. I had my Omeo in full speed mode but never felt out of control.’

 

Steve’s Omeo wheelchair also took him comfortably over the city’s uneven surfaces.

 

As he explains: ‘Historic cities like London and Hereford still have cobbled streets which are near impossible in a manual wheelchair, but I’ve had no issues in my Omeo.

 

‘It’s taken me a while to get used to how it moves over uneven surfaces but I don’t get bounced around – it just absorbs that variation.’


An innovative piece of kit 


Back in Hereford, Steve’s colleagues and students are especially interested in his Omeo wheelchair because NMITE teaches integrated engineering to Masters level.

 

As he reveals: ‘My students ask ‘Can we open it up and see how it works?’… No, I say, you can take the wheels off and see how that works but we’re not taking off the covers!

 

‘Each student also has to do a project where they must design and build whatever they design, so we’re looking at them designing some accessories for the Omeo.

 

‘These could have great value not just to me but to other Omeo users too. Hopefully, we’ll have something to share quite soon.’


Enjoying life to the full  


In the meantime, Steve’s making the most of his new freedom and – on his return from London – went to the Forest of Dean for an exhilarating ride in the snow.

 

‘With the Omeo’s big wheels on I was able to get off-road and do things that wouldn’t have been possible before. And my dog just loved it – she got to go nuts in the forest!’ he says.

 

So if he had to choose three words to describe the Omeo, what would they be?

 

‘That’s a fun one! They’d be freedom, eye-catching and zippy,’ he concludes.

Want to take our tech for a spin? Check our latest ‘try me’ days and book your place here










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Fantastic, Steve!

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