The Coolest Room in the House

A Vermont company may have the solution to accessible homes

The Wheel Pad is a fully accessible room that’s designed to attach to existing structures. (Photo Wheel Pad).

Newly injured people face many challenges as they work to regain control of their new life. Coming home shouldn’t be one of them.

Thanks to the folks at LineSync Architecture, people returning from rehabilitation will no longer have to adapt to an inaccessible home. The home will adapt to them.

The story begins after LineSync Architecture family friend Riley Poor was injured resulting in tetraplegia, a spinal-cord injury of all limbs and core. After he completed rehab, Poor relocated to Portland to start a new job with Nike. Unfortunately, there were little resources available for accessible living forcing him to live in hotels for more than two years.

The Wheel Pad is a fully accessible room that’s designed to attach to existing structures. (Photo Wheel Pad).

Enter the folks at LineSync Architecture who, with the help of Poor, devised a unique living situation for people with spinal-cord injuries called Wheel Pad, a portable, self-contained accessible bedroom and restroom that attaches to existing homes or structures.

“People need to stay included in family life. Not staying in a rehab facility long past the time they have been medically cleared,” says Julie Lineberger, president of Wheel Pad L3C.

The concept originally came to them more than six years ago, but in 2015 things got moving.

Through a first-place business plan competition win sponsored by Strolling of the Heifers, Lineberger received a $10,000 grant to put her dream into reality. Over the course of the past two years, Lineberger and team brought their vision to reality and are going into production late this spring.

The team was given certain restrictions by the Department of Transportation, as it needs to go across US roads for delivery, and set out to construct Wheel Pad with very lightweight, yet durable materials.

Once delivered, Wheel Pad is attached to a home through a back or side door, or window by removing the sill by constructing a small hallway on site. It becomes a seamless threshold leading into the existing home for participation in family life.

Once installed and fitted for the individual, two extension cords from the house plug right into Wheel Pad. One supplies power to the hot water heater and the other interior LED lighting and a heater. A Pyrite insulated hose connects to the host home and supplies Wheel Pad with running water or the built in holding tank can be used.

“We wanted people to be able to come pick up Wheel Pad with a full-sized truck,” says Lineberger. “Our biggest market might be veterans, and we want to change the way our injured soldiers come home from rehab.”

Costs and Financing

Wheel Pad is projected to lease (short term) for $3,000/mo. or can be purchased for $60,000.00.

Both Vermont State Employees Credit Union (VSECU) and Opportunities Credit Union developed programs for those who want to purchase. VSECU is willing to assist Credit Unions in other states develop their own program as well. Lineberger says both financial institutes will work to create special programs for veterans looking to purchase Wheel Pad.

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