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BATEC MINI 2

 

batec mini 2

 


Stuart Dunne, owner of Cyclone Technologies, our partner in the United Kingdom, tells us about how he started Cyclone Technologies, a company he founded years after a traffic accident left him quadriplegic at age 17, whose slogan is: "Trust us, we understand". Plus, he explains his point of view as a worker and businessman with a disability leading a company.

«Stuart Dunne, quadriplegic at age 17, it never entered his head that he wouldn't work. He founded Cyclone Technologies.»

 

blog batecteam  interview with stuart sunne owner of cyclone technologies

 

Could you tell us about your injury?
My Spinal is the C6/7 and this was sustained through a road traffic accident in '85 when I had an invincible attitude to life and thought that it wouldn't happen to me.

Did you work before your accident?
I did work before my accident and had been working since the age of thirteen. I however only part-time or temporary jobs that at the time of my injury I was doing three part time jobs one in a supermarket one in a pub and one in a hotel. This kept me very very busy. I enjoyed the freedom that the financial reward gave me. At the time it was my intention to go to university do a degree and then join the air force and hopefully fly Tornado jets. So I hadn't really got involved in a proper career plan when the inevitable happened.

Did you have the chance of not working after the accident?
Yes everybody that becomes disabled through an accident has the choice to not work. And unfortunately Britain is one of the worst countries in the world for high disability unemployment mainly due to the Social Security Trap. It is so easy for a disabled person in the United Kingdom to not work and have a reasonable lifestyle.

«Britain is one of the worst countries in the world for high disability unemployment mainly due to the Social Security Trap.» 

 

blog batecteam  interview with stuart sunne owner of cyclone technologies

 

Why did you decide to continue working? And, what's more interesting, why did you decide to start your own company?
I was only 17 when I had my spinal injury and wherefore I was at the beginning of my working life. I initially returned to school to complete my education and then went on to college and university to further my skills for application in the workplace. My desire for independence and freedom drove me towards a career plan that initially was heading in the direction of accountancy. It never entered my head that I wouldn't work, working for me was the only way I would achieve the opportunities that life could give me. My initial training took me in the direction of accountancy but I had always been an engineer at heart. I played wheelchair sport at a competitive level and could see there was opportunity to produce lightweight wheelchairs and make a business. It was important to me to take this opportunity and do something special with it. In the beginning it was very small and for the first five years only employed myself and close family. But the market was huge and in 1989 it was really the beginning of the lightweight wheelchair industry sold by the mid 90s the business suddenly boomed. We were supplying people like me equipment from all around the world and our philosophy was 'only the best'. The equipment we supplied had to be the best in its category otherwise we didn't get involved in that area of the market. This is why in 2012 when I saw Batec I said this is definitely for Cyclone.

«The equipment Cyclone Technologies supplied had to be the best in its category otherwise we didn't get involved in that area of the market.»

 

blog batecteam  interview with stuart sunne owner of cyclone technologies

 

Do you enjoy your work?
I absolutely love everything about my work the only thing that makes me slightly upset is, that sometimes our clients and other disabled people don't realise that the equipment we do isn't 'ripping off' disabled people because it's expensive. It is providing high quality equipment that doesn't fail, to alleviate the problems that we all encounter on a daily basis.

As wheelchair user and owner of the company, could you tell us in your own words why is so important to hire people with disabilities?
My first break in my disabled working life was with another wheelchair manufacturer. They saw potential in me as a person and I realised then that people with disabilities can advise from their own personal experiences. I also feel that if a company is selling disabled equipment it should offer the opportunity to people with disabilities the ability to sell that equipment because finding a job as a disabled person has so many restrictions and it would be wrong to choose the easy option of employing a fully able person when with slight assistance a disabled person could do that job. We even have a disabled person as our chief engineer.

«It is massively important for the people we work with to know that we understand and therefore its paramount that we have people that know.»

 

blog batecteam  interview with stuart sunne owner of cyclone technologies

 

Empathy is very important. Do you feel that people without disabilities can understand this fact? Maybe they think that wheelchair users are not able to do a job as properly as people with no disability? What do you think about that?
It is massively important for the people we work with to know that we understand and therefore its paramount that we have people that know. This means that most of our advisors are wheelchair users.
In the UK we have recently had a campaign about positivity when employing disabled people. This was a major government campaign and Cyclone was asked to be involved because we are positive and recognise ability in those people that have limited mobility.
It is true that wheelchair users are limited in manual skills, but the ability to perform most jobs in the service sector is without question equal to an able bodied person.

Tell us about Cyclone Technologies' business philosophy.
Cyclones business philosophy is quite simple. We supply equipment that I would use, and it has to be the absolute best product in it's category. This is exactly why we are United Kingdom agents for Batec Mobility.

«We are positive and recognise ability in those people that have limited mobility... we understand and therefore its paramount that we have people that know.»

 

blog batecteam  interview with stuart sunne owner of cyclone technologies

 

Thank you very much Stuart for your time and kindness.

If you'd like to learn more about Cyclone Technologies, here's the article we wrote about them a few months ago.

 

blog batecteam  interview with stuart sunne owner of cyclone technologies

 

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