Indesign, LLC, a nationally recognized engineering design firm specializing in new product development, has provided the mechanical engineering design services to develop a prototype of Caroline’s Cart. Caroline’s Cart is a specially designed shopping cart for children and adults with disabilities, to accommodate a variety of levels and types of disability. It allows the disabled person to be able to shop with a caregiver, eliminating the dangers of having to fit a child into the seat or basket of a standard shopping cart, or pushing and pulling a wheelchair and a shopping cart, or leaving the disabled person out of the shopping experience all together. This unique project, somewhat different from Indesign’s normal electronic product development projects, was motivated by a desire to support Drew Ann Long, a stay-at-home Mom from Alabaster, Alabama. When Drew Ann could no longer fit her special needs daughter Caroline into the traditional grocery cart provided by stores where she shopped, she embarked on a journey to invent a shopping cart for special needs children. She utilized Indesign’s services to bring the cart from an idea to reality. She has worked closely with the Easter Seals organization, obtaining their support for her product. Challenges of limited mobility, a lifelong disability, a temporary sprained ankle, stamina issues or behavioral problems can greatly limit a caregiver’s ability to fully engage in the shopping experience and may even keep a disabled person from being able to participate altogether. Caroline’s Cart provides a solution for comfortably including a disabled child or adult while shopping. The specially designed shopping cart includes these features and benefits:
  • The handles of Caroline’s Cart swing back to provide convenient access to the seat
  • The seat back has a five degree tilt for increased comfort for persons with low muscle tone
  • The seat faces the caregiver, so eye contact is easy to maintain, persons with anxiety issues can watch the caregiver during the shopping trip, and persons prone to seizures can be monitored
  • The platform below the seat provides a footrest for the rider
  • An abductor in the seat helps keep the rider upright
  • A harness helps to secure the rider so caregivers have hands free to steer the cart and shop
  • An ample cargo basket provides space for purchased items, including hooks on the side for hanging bags
When asked about Indesign’s product development experience with the Caroline’s Cart project, Indesign CEO, Jerry Gotway said: “Our design team was very excited about the opportunity to design a product that would really help children and adults with disabilities. Although this project was not one of our normal electronic product designs, it was an immensely satisfying project. We were impressed by Drew Ann’s strong commitment to this project, and that commitment became contagious for everyone on our design team.”