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Meeting the DEMAND: DEMAND is a charity dedicated to helping people with disabilities that require bespoke equipment to help them with their everyday lives.

DEMAND is a charity that is dedicated to transforming the lives of people with disabilities, helping them to overcome challenges in their lives with custom-made or modified equipment. Those with special requirements often find there is no suitable 'off- the- shelf solution. From two engineering workshops, DEMAND'S team of 20 staff modify, refurbish, design and manufacture equipment, tailored to an individual's needs, that makes daily life easier or enables them to enjoy sport and leisure activities.

Each year, DEMAND takes on university students for 48-week placements as junior designers. Every student becomes skilled in its custom design process and often leads entire projects to completion towards the end of their time.

"We hope that letting people experience the way we work, and seeing at first hand the impact that our work can make, will inspire young designers to continue to create products empathetically; taking full consideration of people with mobility and cognitive challenges for the entirety of their careers," says DEMAND.

Students benefit from learning to consider design for disability in everything they do, which helps influence the thinking in their future design environments. As one of its students said on leaving: "It's been a life-changing experience." The hands-on opportunities to interact with end users and undertake design projects from conception and prototyping to final production are unique within the disability sector.

"My placement at DEMAND opened my eyes to the world of design for disability," says Daniel Tyas, BSc Product Design Engineering, Nottingham Trent University.

"I gained a real appreciation of designing for manufacture, working in tandem with craftsmen and practicing the skills myself.

"The satisfaction from witnessing a client achieve something new for the first time, with the help of something I'd designed, really sticks with me.'

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Title Annotation:IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Publication:Engineering Designer
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 1, 2016
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