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Lap Tray Overlay for Food Service Worker with CP

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Melinda has CP along with limited/delayed gross and fine motor skills. She uses a wheelchair with a lap tray. Melinda is wrapping silverware at the Outback Steakhouse. She is having difficulty reaching the silverware and she is turning over silverware containers. A small table is provided for her use but it is removed if the restaurant needs it for additional customer seating.


Woman using lap tray overlay for food service preparation.
Woman using lap tray overlay for food service preparation.

It was decided not to rely on the presence of the table but rather to construct a "lap tray overlay" that added app. 50% to the working surface of her lap tray. It was constructed from scrap hardboard. Pockets were cut for the silverware cups to nest in and a hole was cut for joystick access. Some self stick shelving paper gave a sanitary finished look to the product. It rested on Melinda's lap tray and was secured with a bungee cord at each elbow location and a spring clamp in the joystick area.

Cost Analysis

The only purchases were for two bungee cords and a spring clamp for app. $10 total.


Michael Cifaldi

NC Vocational Rehabilitation Services