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In-Tentionally Accessible Universal Vestibule and Tent

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2002-33610-12753
Agency Tracking Number: 2002-03052
Amount: $296,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2002
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
540 Fairview Ave. N., Ste. 207, St. Paul, MN, 55104
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Dianne Goodwin
 (651) 603-0828
Business Contact
 Dianne Goodwin
Title: President/Director of R&D
Phone: (651) 603-0828
Research Institution
Commercially available tents and vestibules are relatively inaccessible to people who use mobility devices or those with dexterity limitations. The objectives of this project are to develop and test tent-related technology which results in a vestibule and a combined tent and vestibule accessible to people of varying abilities, including people with mobility, dexterity, cognitive and visual impairments. The universal vestibule will be able to be used with a wide range of 2-6 person tents. Its zipperless, accessible door will enable individuals to quickly and independently get out of the rain. Inside the vestibule, there will be enough headroom for people to sit upright, for others to assist in transfers, and room to maneuver a wheelchair. Secondary applications will be its use as a stand-alone, accessible, private shelter for a commode, gear storage, or as a screen house in group camping situations. A means for attaching the vestibule to a stationary vehicle will also be developed. It is anticipated that the features and benefits of the universal vestibule will appeal to a wide range of campers, not just those with disabilities. A 2-3 person accessible tent/vestibule will also be developed. The structure will include a vestibule area and a sleeping area, with insect-proof netting separating the two areas. Hardware and frames developed for both structures will enable campers who are standing upright, seated in a wheelchair, or sitting on the ground to assemble the tent. Window closures and the insect barrier between the sleeping and vestibule portions of the tent will be easy to open and close by those with limited dexterity, as well as those at ground level. The overall technical objectives include structural stability, withstanding wind and rain, and insect resistance. Production and manufacturing objectives include optimization of the designs for ease of manufacturing and control of costs, development of processes and specifications to ensure finished goods meet established quality criteria, identification of potential domestic or overseas manufacturers, and identification of existing tent manufacturers who may license the technology. Information dissemination activities regarding the project will increase the awareness of the outdoor industry, camping programs, and disability communities. The outdoor industry will be made aware of the existence of campers with disabilities, and everyone will be made aware of new technology available to better serve their needs.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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