AIX Americas 2012: MERU TravelChair makes flying easier for disabled children

Not all airlines offer suitable postural support systems for disabled children but MERU is making it easier for them to fly with its new TravelChair.Designer Graham Race, in conjunction with the children’s charity MERU, has created a new TravelChair that offers firm postural support for disabled children between the ages of 3 and 11 (depending on the weight and height of the child).Developed with advice from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), the CAA, several key airlines and parents with disabled children the aim was to ensure all their needs were met.In 2006 the ‘1107’1 law was passed concerning the rights of disabled persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air, forcing airlines to re-evaluate the services they offer.Some selected airlines have been using an earlier version of the chair for many years with fantastic feedback from cabin crew and parents.Parents simply advise the airline of their need to use the TravelChair at point of booking and the airline ensure it is on board for both outbound and inbound flights – all at no extra charge.Kevin George, Managing Director of Monarch Airlines said: “Monarch is proud to have worked with MERU over many years to offer the use of the TravelChair on its flights.“Monarch’s cabin crew are all fully trained in using the current chair and it is expected that the new version will provide even greater opportunity for disabled children to travel – on holiday, or for much needed treatment overseas.”MERU has been through a number of name changes over the years. It started life as “the Helpers of Queen Mary’s Hospital (Medical Engineering Unit)” until it began helping children from all over the South East of England. It changed its name to the “Medical Engineering Resource Unit” in 2002 and people started to shorten this to “MERU”.Steve Nichols, Inflight / Inflight-Online.comSeattle, USA

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