The client has a high security night latch with a lever that, due to MS, she can neither turn nor reach from her wheelchair. She has limited arm movement and grip and only in her left hand. The door latch is to her right side. She wanted to be able to release the latch and pull the door open from her wheelchair. She also wanted her assistance dog to be able to release the latch and pull the door open, or any combination of them both working the door.
What was created was a custom-made two part 3d printed clamp to fit over the Yale latch lever. A curved oak extension lever was fitted to the clamp that was shaped to maximise the effort the client could apply to release the latch. It was also designed to allow the assistance dog to pull down with its front paws anywhere along the length of the lever to achieve the same result. The client was provided with a lightweight pole with a ring at one end that slipped over the lever to activate it from the wheelchair. The enlarged mid section of the lever stopped the ring from moving too far and thus reducing the force that the client could apply. The ring also allowed the client to pull the door open without changing position. A rubber tip to the pole allowed the client to push the door closed. The lever had a ball attached on a rope that mimicked what the assistance dog was trained with. This allowed it to pull the door open once it had released the latch. In addition the latch and hinges were oiled and the door reduced slightly to avoid sticking points to allow it to open easily. Finally a custom 3D printed key turner was provided which the client was able to use to deadbolt the door for safety when the dog was left in the house alone.
Door lever in place with rope and ball attached
Assistance dog using the lever to release the latch
The combination of the lever, pole and key turner gave the client added independence and safety, either acting by herself or with the help of her dog, or a combination of both working together.