My Story

patti dawson activist of the year award presented by the spinal cord injury ontario foundation

The picture is from July 2018, and it’s the first day that I received a pre-production HandiCup! It’s the very first one!

Necessity is the mother of all inventions! ~Plato


Chris holding the first model of the handicupI'd like to take a minute to share my story and how HandiCup came to be.

In November 2014, after suffering a spinal cord injury from a freak accidental slip and fall into the bathtub, life using a wheelchair suddenly became my reality. One day, while still in rehab, I was feeling restless and decided to go for a cruise using my powerchair.

Ambitiously, I headed to Yorkdale Shopping Mall - my old stomping grounds.

I travelled 14km/8mi on a hot, Toronto summer day. By the time I arrived, I was suffering from heat stroke and severe dehydration! The paramedics had to ice me down to reduce my body temperature. Due to my limited hand function and design of my wheelchair, I hadn't figured out a way to carry water with me and be able to access it on my own.

Turns out, that happened to be the hottest day of that summer. I remember thinking - this can't happen again, there's got to be a better way! No way was I going to let my disability stop me.

Living using a wheelchair doesn't stop us from wanting to live an independent and active lifestyle. I wanted to be able to continue living comfortably using my wheelchair and not worry about running into a dehydration problem again. All the conventional wheelchair cup holders available on the market were either too flimsy or mounted in a manner that was not secure. I needed something that would work for my limited hand function and would also never get knocked off my wheelchair. That's when I invented HandiCup! The securely mounted, user friendly, functional cup holder that's guaranteed to never lose a drink!

If you know someone who would benefit from a HandiCup please share and thank you for taking the time to visit my website!


Chris Stigas, 
Product Development, HandiHelp Accessible Innovations Inc.
Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™️ Professional