History of making assistive devices from cardboard in the UK and the Global Spread
Cardboard assistive devices have been made for a long time in the United Kingdom. Appropriate Paper-based Technology (APT) was learnt from the late Bevill Packer in Zimbabwe (Packer, 1989/ Digitised 2013) (Lagerwall, 1988) in the 1980’s then bench tested at HEARU, a Unit where manufacturing low-cost, simple assistive aids was taught (Caston, 1987) (Coleridge, 1993) (Westmacott, 1995).
The first formal CBR students were trained at University of London Centre of International Child Health and they were insistent on low cost, sustainable solutions for made-to-measure and customised assistive devices in low-resource areas. APT fitted this brief with the materials being flour and water paste and recycled cardboard and paper as the students could see it was being used in the UK (Werner, 1998)p 74. It was also trialled in the Paper Furniture Workshop in Hampshire as well as homes e.g. sofa and chairs made in 1989 (Westmacott, 2015) photographs inside back cover.
Archie Hinchcliffe, a paediatric physiotherapist learnt about APT before going to Zambia. Bevill travelled from Zimbabwe to run a course for people in Lusaka. From that sprung the APTers workshop in the University Teaching Hospital in Lusaka. It is still in production to this day 2017 (see https://www.daily-mail.co.zm/tag/apters/) and APT appendices in her book (Hinchcliffe, 2007)
People from the UK have been helping people make assistive devices from cardboard through People Potential courses (http://www.peoplepotential.org.uk/appropriate-paper-technology ) and around the world. The Westmacotts, therapists and their students have organised or run APT training in Afghanistan, Albania, Bangladesh, Bulgaria, Burkino Faso, Burundi, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Malawi, Mexico, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, Rwanda, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tanzania, Uganda, UK, the West Bank and Zambia. APT workshops are producing assistive devices in Bangladesh, Kenya, Malawi, UK and Zambia. Thousands of people have been helped with APT items.
More information about making assistive furniture and everyday living aids from cardboard: www.apbt.org.uk http://www.peoplepotential.org.uk/appropriate-paper-technology www.cerebralpalsyafrica.org
Cardboard adaptations for assistive devices are also made in New York. See www.adaptivedesign.org
Caston, D., 1987. Simple Aids for Daily Living. revised ed. UK: AHRTAG.
Coleridge, P., 1993. Disability, Liberation and Development p232. Oxford: Oxfam.
Hinchcliffe, A., 2007. Children With Cerebral Palsy : A Manual for Therapists, Parents and Community Workers. 2nd revised Edition ed. Thousand Oaks, US: Sage publications Inc.
Lagerwall, T. E., 1988. Appropriate Aids and Equipment for disabled people in Africa, Bromma, Sweden: ICTA Information Centre, Box 303, S-161 26 Bromma, Sweden.
Packer, B., 1989/ Digitised 2013. Appropriate Paper-based Technology (APT) A Manual. Harare: Practical Action Publishing Ltd.
Werner, D., 1998. Nothing About Us Without Us. Palo Alto: HEALTHRIGHTS.
Westmacott, J., 2015. Assistive Cardboard Equipment. Galashiels: Meigle Colour Printers Ltd.
Westmacott, K. a. J., 1995. Designing and Simple Technologies in CBR. NU Nytt om U-landshalsocard - News on Health Care ion Developing Countries, Issue 2.95, pp. 33-36.