Clinical Research manager, Noel McQuaid and Caoimhe
McMahon. Product Researcher of James Leckey Design.
LOCAL company James Leckey Design is one of four companies to
receive a prestigious 2007 Spark Award for their work on
equipment for children with special needs.
The Dunmurry firm, which specialises in the design and
manufacture of positioning equipment for children with special
needs including cerebral palsy. muscular dystrophy, and spina
bifida, was given the award with the University of Aberdeen to
enable them to jointly carry out ground breaking new research.
The University team. led by Dr Mark Mon-Williams, has expert
knowledge in Development Co-ordination Disorders (DCDs) and how
they affect an individual's ability to function. Leckey Design
has also been researching this same area - but specifically with
special needs children.
The Spark Award enables lames hockey Design and the University
to start a joint research project which will look at the effect
of postural support equipment on function in children with
special needs. To date there is little published research on
this topic and as such the work is truly cutting edge.
The Electronics Enabled Products Knowledge Transfer Network (KTN)
Spark Awards are designed to build relationships between small
to medium sized enterprises and higher education institutes.
Noel McQuaid, the Technical Director at lames Leckey Design,
said they were delighted to receive the award. This is part of
an ongoing initiative to have strategic partnerships with
academic centres of excellence so that we can carry out clinical
research that is unbiased" he said.
We have almost completed the first phase of the research which
involved resolving the technical issues of how to measure
movement. We are using the latest optoelectronic and
electromagnetic devices to measure children's movement when
supported and unsupported in our new Mygo seating system."
Noel continued: "We want to understand this benefit so that we
can use it as pan of future product development but also to help
children, their carers and health professionals understand the
benefit of using our equipment. There has been a big drive
globally to provide evidence on the effectiveness of equipment
for special needs kids and this award enables us to be the first
in our market place to provide this evidence."