Whirlwind Wheelchairs International works to make it possible for every person in the developing world who needs a wheelchair to obtain one that will lead to maximum personal independence and integration into society. In order to fulfill this mission, WWI seeks to give wheelchair riders a central role in all of its projects and activities. Founded in 1989, Whirlwind Wheelchairs International is now located in 45 countries, designing wheelchairs that can be built in developing countries from locally available materials.

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A wheelchair is a mobilized form of chair using 2 or more wheels, a footrest and armrest usually cushioned. It is used when walking is difficult or impossible to do due to illnesses, injury, disabilities, or age related health conditions.

Whirlwind Wheelchair[edit | edit source]

The Whirlwind wheelchairW is designed for production and use in developing countries to empower people with disabilities through independent mobility and sustainable economic development. This is done by using open sourceW design to promote wheelchair production through the development of small shops which are managed by wheelchair riders.

WWI has recently changed it's distribution system to include the manufacture of pre-assembled parts in a European bike factory. This is meant to allow the shops to create a new inventory more quickly.

Ralf HotchkissW, the designer of the Whirlwind, teaches an excellent class at San Francisco State University that involves students in the design process and teaches the use of basic metal shop equipment. He is also a partner of Demotech's MobilitySupportUnits design project.

Sig17 has held wheelchair cushion design contests in the past.

Leveraged Freedom Chair[edit | edit source]

The Leveraged Freedom Chair is a low-cost wheelchair designed specifically for rough terrain[1]

Related projects[edit | edit source]

References and Articles[edit | edit source]

Wheelchair rider injuries: causes and consequences for wheelchair design and selection.AGaal RP, Rebholtz N, Hotchkiss RD, Pfaelzer PF. J Rehabil Res Dev. 1997 Jan;34(1):58-71.

Other resources[edit | edit source]

The iBotW is a revolutionary wheelchair design, but very expensive (around US$26,000).

See also[edit | edit source]

  • Article with some useful ideas, ie brain-computer interface, ...
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Authors Steve McCrosky
License CC-BY-SA-3.0
Language English (en)
Related subpages, pages link here
Aliases Wheelchair, Whirlwind Wheelchairs
Impact 843 page views
Created February 28, 2007 by Chris Watkins
Modified May 16, 2024 by Kathy Nativi
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