The Handy Bag features an innovative design. The Handy Bag features an innovative design. The Handy Bag features an innovative design. (Photo: Handy Bag)

New luggage line helps disabled people travel stress-free

The Handy Bag allows for easy access to personal belongings, and it also looks pretty snazzy.

As technology evolves to fit the needs of the disabled, we're seeing some amazing innovations that are helping people get around in ways never seen before. But what about what they take with them when they get around? Carrying a bag is great when you're walking, but what about when you're wheeling? What good is a backpack if you can't access it when you need it?

Those questions swirled around the mind of Yair Zur, an industrial designer from Israel who also happens to be the son of two disabled people. He knew there were some major flaws in luggage design for people with disabilities, so he decided to correct those flaws. He created the Handy Bag, a company that makes accessible backpacks and accessories for the wheelchair-bound.

Handy Bag's line includes The Side Bag, meant to help electric wheelchair users access their belongings easily with just one hand; and The Dynamic Bag, which allows easy access from the back of the wheelchair to the front using a carrier system.

"The inspiration for the project came from my parents," Zur said. "Both of them are wheelchair users. My vision was to design a high-quality backpack that would have easy access, would look good and would last for a long time. After almost two years of development and dozens of prototypes, I did it."

After a successful Kickstarter campaign that wraps up this week, the folks at Handy Bag are on track to start shipping their products by May 2017.

And here's the kicker: If you're an able-bodied person who doesn't need a Handy Bag, you can do something to help those who do. You can pledge funds to the project that will go to a person in need. That donation will go to Make a Child Smile, a U.S.-based nonprofit that supports children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses and their families.

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