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IKEA Expands Its Ergonomic Product Line to Include Products for People With Disabilities

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Save your pennies and bust out the yardstick, because IKEA’s upcoming line of ergonomic furniture designed for people with mobility challenges will have you redecorating your entire living space. The new items will be available starting May 2020.

During its annual Democratic Design Days press event in June, IKEA unveiled several new company initiatives and product lines. Among the upcoming innovations for 2020 are additions to the Swedish home furnishing company’s Omtänksam product line, designed to make your home more comfortable and accessible.

IKEA debuted Omtänksam, which means “thoughtful” in Swedish, in 2017 to bring together comfort, functional assistance and IKEA’s design aesthetic in a series of household goods. Products include extra cushion support for comfort and chair designs that are easier to get in and out of. At the latest event, the company committed to expanding its accessible products to include items for people with disabilities and illnesses.

“From now on, IKEA will develop the Omtänksam range further,” the company said in a press release. “Products for the bedroom, bathroom and kitchen are currently in the pipeline — work made all the more important by the fact that hardly any other company in the home furnishing business is addressing these issues.”

New items, according to Real Simple, will include an easy-to-grip vase with an indent around the middle so you can easily grip with your arms or legs if it’s too heavy for your hands. A jar opener with extra rubber gripping power is designed to minimize strain if you have arthritis or wrist pain. New ergonomic furniture designs — such as a lumbar cushion that’s adaptable to many chairs — aim to make your world more comfortable and adaptive.

The announcement of IKEA’s Omtänksam expansion highlights how introducing universal design features to common products is good for the disability community as well as business. IKEA also launched ThisAbles with disability advocacy groups in Israel earlier in 2019, which includes handle adapters, extenders, bumpers and other accessories to modify existing IKEA products so they are more accessible for people with disabilities.

“IKEA’s vision has always been to create a better everyday life for the many people,” IKEA said in a press release. “With the Omtänksam range — developed in collaboration with ergonomists, physiotherapists and researchers — IKEA is helping people overcome obstacles that make it difficult to enjoy an independent life by adding extra comfort and functionality.”

New Omtänksam designs will be available in May 2020.

Header image via IKEA

Originally published: July 2, 2019
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