Timothy is a C6 quadriplegic who has limited use of his hands and wanted to use a range of writing and drawing implements for a course he was undertaking at TAFE. His therapist suggested he contact TAD to make a splint that would allow him to hold each implement and also change them easily.
Volunteer Jim Lemon made a splint body to fit around Timothy’s hand by heating and bending a strip of PVC drainage tube and then carving and sanding it smooth. Next he shaped a clamp from aluminium with a torsion spring to hold the clamp closed and fixed this to the splint body with epoxy glue and rivets.
The clamp is operated by a lever which can be operated with the heel of one hand when Timothy’s other hand is in the splint, and does not require finger control. To attach an implement, he holds the clamp open, slides it over the required implement and releases the clamp, reversing the process to take them off.
To hold the implements while Timothy is changing them on and off, Jim made a wooden block containing small holes. The implements sit upright in the holes and are easy to attach and remove from this position.
At the right end of the splint Jim added an 8mm ball, held in a hold drilled in the body of the splint by a shaped stainless steel plate which is glued and riveted to the PVC. This takes part of the weight of Timothy’s hand and allows the splint to glide across the surface he is working on.