In VIVES University College Bruges a care labwas established where students of occupational therapy, care providers, end users and companies meet and co-create solutions in the areas of housing, communication, etc. For students, this significantly reduces the gap between theory and practice.

    Zorglab VIVES care lab
    The VIVES Bruges care lab

    We thought it would be very worthwhile for Occupational Therapy students to get acquainted with our adaptive clothing. Can they estimate which target group they were designed for? Can they critically examine the benefits of these items of clothing or offer proposals for improvement?

    The care labis, as it were, an adapted home where the latest technologies and gadgets can be tested. The upcoming occupational therapists can step into the skin of a wheelchair patient and experience how certain aids increase the independence of people with a physical disability. An ideal test environment for our products, we thought. We were therefore happy to hear that VIVESenthusiastically received our proposal and this was immediately scheduled into the physical rehabilitation classes.

    The occupational therapy students were divided into small groups and each group had to try out 4 items of clothing, think about the target group for which the items were designed, what advantages they offer and whether further improvements are possible.

    Catheterization with ZOË wheelchair trousers taught them that people no longer have to stay close to home when they have to catheterise themselves. The catheterization no longer has to be done in bed, because thanks to the very long zipper, women can easily probe in any adapted toilet. It's a major step forward in terms of independence.

    Taking samples from the wheelchair
    Catheterization on the toilet with the ZOË trousers

    The products were extensively tested by the students. In this way the students learned a lot about catheterization, the use of hoists, personal care from the wheelchair, ...

    We also received some well-thought-out suggestions:

    "With the front and back of the VICTOR catheterization wheelchair trousers it's difficult to recognise when the zippers are open. By placing an indication in the trousers, people can better distinguish it."

    "When performing transfers using a hoist, the ROMY skirt can be used in combination with a lifting sling, but not with a lifting bracket. The easiest way is to open the skirt by the zipper before moving over to the toilet. "

    "A good idea for a modified jacket could be a duffel coat, because this kind of jacket has large and easily manageable buttons with loops."

    Taking samples from the wheelchair
    Catheterise from the wheelchair

    A few sessions in the Care Lab and a paper later, we returned to Vives to discuss the assignment with the students. The results were way above expectations. The responses to the assignment were also positive: "During our internship or in professional life, we'll pay more attention to the problems people experience with clothing and know what solutions exist" or "we didn't know that clothing could give people so much more independence".

    students look at clothing from So Yes
    Students get to know the clothing from So Yes

    A positive experience for both the students and us. Worth repeating!

    Sofie and Jessie