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5 Ways an adapted desk is designed with the user in mind

When asked to picture a classroom desk, you most likely think of a traditional flip-up desk attached to a chair. Now imagine the student sitting in it. How would you describe them?

They wouldn’t be a person who uses a wheelchair or walker, since the chair is attached. If they are overweight, they might not fit the space between the desk and chair; and if they are very tall, their knees will hit the bottom of the desk. You probably wouldn’t picture a person who is left-handed, since most of the desktop cutouts are constructed for right-handed people. So if the desk isn’t designed for any of these students, what does that say about its effectiveness? More importantly, what message does it send about diversity and who is welcome in the classroom?

Traditional school desks are designed for one type of student. That is, one who is ambulatory, has no disabilities, and is right-handed with average height and weight. Even if a student fits that description, it is still not designed for comfort, flexibility or an optimal classroom experience.

At Can-Dan, we believe that our students deserve better than the age-old desk-and-chair combo. Because the truth is, there are many types of students, and school desks should cater to their unique needs. That’s why we offer the ERGOtable, the original adapted desk that we believe is designed to enhance the learning experience for all students. Here are a few of the ways it is designed with the user in mind.

1. It can be adjusted to the perfect height for each student.

That’s right—the legs of our adapted desks are height-adjustable, so users can have exactly the amount of legroom they need. Whether you’re seated in a classroom chair or wheelchair, and whatever your height and weight, the ERGOtable is designed to be moved up or down to the ideal ergonomic height for each student’s comfort and wellbeing.

2. It has cutouts to ensure correct ergonomic positioning.

Remember the desk-and-chair combo with the awkward cutout on one side? Good riddance! The ERGOtable is designed with a cutout in the middle, so you can rest both arms on the desk in the correct ergonomic position. This also ensures comfort for right- and left-handers alike, since there is enough desktop space on both sides to take notes and complete assignments.

If this cutout still isn’t ideal for you, no worries—you can customize your desk with a different cutout size, or choose one with no cutout. There is even an ERGOtable designed for power wheelchair users, which has a special cutout to fit the student and their joystick.

3. A storage box provides the ideal spot for school supplies.

Traditional classroom desks often have no place to store books, binders and pens. If they do, it’s usually a flip-top that requires disrupting the workspace to retrieve items you need. Our solution? A handy storage box attached to the side of the desk, providing the perfect space to hold school supplies while students work.

4. Wheels encourage mobility in the classroom.

When asked to picture a classroom desk, it’s unlikely you imagined a desk on wheels. But that’s what we imagined when we designed the ERGOtable, so that’s exactly what it’s built on. There are many studies that show the positive impacts of movement on learning, and the information isn’t new—teachers have been having students rearrange their desks for group activities for years. So why doesn’t most school furniture cater to a flexible classroom environment? An adapted desk on wheels makes it easier for students to move during the school day, stimulating their brains in new ways and encouraging creative thought.

5. It can be customized to meet each individual’s needs.

We’ve tried to consider each user’s needs, but you might still have a unique situation we haven’t covered. Got an idea for your ideal desk shape or design? We offer custom desk solutions for this very reason. Tell us what you’re looking for and we might be able to build the perfect desk for you!