Design Features That Affect the Maneuverability of Wheelchairs and ScootersBy Koontz, Alicia M.; Brindle, Eric D.; Kankipati, Padmaja; Feathers, David; Cooper, Rory A.; Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Vol. 91, No. 5, pp. 759-764
Publication Date: May 2010
Study sought to determine the minimum space required for wheeled mobility device users to perform 4 maneuverability tasks, and investigated the impact of selected design attributes on space. The study was undertaken in light of the wide variety of wheeled devices available today, necessitating new data to understand the maneuverability of these devices in confined spaces. Participants were 109 manual wheelchair, 100 power wheelchair, and 14 scooter users who navigated a mock environment of passageways constructed to form an L-turn, 360-degree turn in place, and a U-turn with and without a barrier. Passageway openings were increased in 5 centimeter increments until the user could successfully perform each task without hitting the walls. Results revealed that ultralight manual wheelchairs with rear axles posterior to the shoulder had the shortest lengths and required the least amount of space compared with all other types of manual wheelchairs. Mid wheel drive power wheelchairs required the least space for the 360-degree turn in place compared with front wheel drive and rear wheel drive powered wheelchairs, but performed equally well as front wheel drive models on all other turning tasks. Power wheelchairs with seat functions required more space to perform the tasks. Based on study results, the authors estimate that between 10 and 100 percent of wheeled mobility device users would not be able to maneuver in spaces that meet current specifications of the Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities put forth in the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADAAG).
Published by: W.B. Saunders Company, a division of Elsevier Health Sciences (Website:http://us.elsevierhealth.com)
American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (Web Site: http://www.aapmr.org/ )
American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine (Web Site: http://www.acrm.org )
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J58837