By Laura Hall
In part 1 of this blog series describing my two-week trial with the Mount n’ Mover tray mounting system, I outlined my experience with mounting the device…the hard part. Now, for the fun part – how I used the system and my overall impressions.
Mount n’ Mover offers a dual arm, which allows you to move the tray horizontally and vertically in 12 degree increments, affording 1700 possible positions. Additionally, with the parts available in the evaluation kit, you can mount an additional single arm that enables you to mount another tray, that can be positioned and (at 12 degree increments) anywhere between 90 degrees and 180 degrees. I chose to mount both in order to really get a feel for all the Mount n ‘Mover could offer.
Initially, I assumed that I would primarily use it with my laptop in the work environment. Yet, within an hour of completing the attachment, I found myself at the grocery store using the trays to carry my groceries , even sorting them with one tray carrying the “essentials” and the other carrying the “if there’s money leftover” items. In a later shopping trip, the mounting arms (without the trays) themselves proved to be handy for hanging grocery bags.
At home, I used the Mount n’ Mover to help prepare and cook meals. Even though they say eating at the dinner table is proper etiquette, I have to admit that reclining in my wheelchair, eating a meal kicked back and relaxed in front of my favorite movie made for a pretty comfortable and enjoyable evening. The lip on the reading tray ensured that I didn’t end up with food in my lap, and as I’m sure many wheelchair users would agree, this is a rare occurrence.
As for the initial purpose of my trial evaluation, the Mount n’ Mover exceeded my expectations in my work environment. I typically split my week between time at the Michigan Disability Rights Coalition (MDRC) office and my home office. The mounting system allowed me to maintain productivity consistently in both environments while tilting and reclining to relieve pressure and change positions.
I was more comfortable and able to work longer because I was able to customize the position of trays, eliminating many of the ergonomic aches and pains I had been experiencing. I saved space by having work surfaces literally at my fingertips, and I enjoyed the portability of taking my work anywhere, to consult with a co-worker, for example. Using the dual and single arms, with the reading tray and iPad tray in tandem allowed me to transcribe from paper or my tablet to the laptop.
Over the course of two weeks I became skilled at navigating doorways and tight spaces with this new apparatus. In truth, the Mount n’ Mover, even with both mounts, did not really add much to the overall width of my chair, the adjustment really came as a result of merely having equipment that changed my perception of width and space. It became such an integral part of my daily experience that since returning it to BlueSky Designs, I found myself absently reaching for the arms or saying to myself, “Geez, I really wish I had the Mount n’ Mover right now”.
Not to fear. This two-week trial was enough to convince me that this particular piece of assistive technology was a perfect fit. My employer, MDRC, is allowing me to purchase the dual arm and laptop tray as a workplace accommodation. The additional single arm was nice to try, but probably more than I needed. As an alternative, upon purchase of the dual arm , BlueSky Designs is offering me a free trial of a different component, the Tilt n’ Turner, a less expensive option that still allows for positioning of the two trays but with less flexibility in the arm.
The single word that comes to mind when trying to describe the Mount n’ Mover is “Wow!” In my opinion, it was ingeniously designed and engineered to attach to a variety of different wheelchairs, with many different mounting options. It allows you to safely and securely mount many different devices (particularly augmentative/alternative communication devices) with hardware designed particularly for those devices.
BlueSky Designs has clearly considered the issues of portability, ease of removing and swinging away the trays, and positioning them for comfort and pressure relief quite thoroughly. I was also impressed by their attention to user ability by providing options for low-torque hinges and handles and levers that can be manipulated using gross movements.
Although mounting the equipment turned out to be more complicated than I anticipated, the Mount n’ Mover website provided clear instructions and diagrams, and all the staff at BlueSky Designs that I spoke to were deeply knowledgeable about the equipment, wheelchairs, and hardware and willing to provide any technical assistance I needed over the phone and via Skype. I found them to be extremely accommodating, especially in ensuring that I had the correct equipment by offering trials and allowing me to return any hardware that I might not need back for a refund.
I can’t wait to receive my very own Mount n’ Mover! I’ve shared my AT experience, tell us about yours! Have a particular device or equipment that has changed the way you take care of daily business? Let us know. We all learn from each other, and there are plenty of experiences to share.Tweet