UK (University of South Wales) Student benefits from using bespoke wheelchair camera mount

To celebrate International Day of People with Disabilities (3 December), we speak to first year Media Production student James Haines about the support he has received from USW to enable to him to study in the same way as his course mates.

When James, who has always been a wheelchair user, first started his course, he began learning how to use a standard video camera to produce content for TV, radio and new media platforms.

But within a few weeks of loaning out the camera equipment, he experienced some difficulties with holding it for extended periods of time, and sought guidance from the Technical team at USW’s Faculty of Business and Creative Industries to work collaboratively on a bespoke solution.

Matthew Hunter, Technical Officer in Media, worked with James to create a wheelchair camera rig, which is made up of a magic arm fixed onto a fluid tripod head, that can be mounted onto the frame of a wheelchair.

See the wheelchair camera rig in action

James can now loan out the camera rig as well as any other equipment he needs, allowing him to work on a range of content production alongside his fellow students.

Matthew said: “All of the students on the Media Production course use the same type of video camera, so we wanted James to be able to use it in the same way as everyone else. The wheelchair camera rig is a short-term solution that we can keep making improvements to, especially as James progresses through the course and becomes experienced with different types of equipment, but it has been great to work with him on creating this specialist mount.”

Paul Mallinson, Media Production course leader, added: “At USW we are proud to support our students to ensure they get the most out of their time at university, and this is a fantastic example of that support. Matthew has shown admirable professionalism and responsivity in working with James to provide a bespoke solution to using a camera rig which fits onto his wheelchair.

“The mount is now available to book through our equipment loans system, so that James and other wheelchair users can book a camera rig in the same way as any other kit, and progress at the same pace as his peers.”