Hesperian Health Guides

How-to-Do-It Reference Materials for Wheelchairs, Wheelboards, and Other Seating

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HealthWiki > Disabled Village Children > Chapter 64: Decisions About Special Seats and Wheelchairs > How-to-Do-It Reference Materials for Wheelchairs, Wheelboards, and Other Seating


It is impossible, in a book such as this, to give detailed building plans for more than a few wheelchairs, scooters, wheelboards (trolleys), and special seats. The following reference materials have more detailed plans. You can send for them at the addresses shown. Some may also be available from TALC, P.O. Box 49, St. Albans, Herts, AL1 4AX, England. With each reference we give one or more drawings of key designs and a few comments about their usefulness and cost.

(out of print)

  • many good designs and plans for low-cost aids
  • does not compare strengths and weaknesses or describe limitations of different designs
  • no design for wheelchairs with casters in front (which are needed for many areas)
WHEELCHAIRS
wood metal from a chair
Girl in a wooden wheelchair.
Girl sitting in a wheelchair with crutches behind her.
Girl sitting on wooden wheelchair with crutches behind her.
TROLLEYS
metal wood
Two wheels connected to metal sheets.
Low wooden car.
wooden cart with back.
TWO-HAND DRIVEN TRICYCLE
DVC Ch64 Page 604-7.png

Independence through Mobility: A Guide to the Manufacture of the ATI-Hotchkiss Wheelchair
Whirlwind Wheelchair International

components of a wheelchair.

2703 7th St., #134
Berkeley, CA 94710, USA

  • design for the ‘whirlwind’, a high-quality middle-cost steel tube wheelchair that can be built by disabled craftspersons as a village industry
  • short training usually needed to build it effectively; welding skills and simple math required
  • cost of materials about US $100

Local Village-made Wheelchairs and Trolleys
by Don Caston

(out of print)

  • simple, very low-cost aids, made mostly out of wood, using bicycle or wood wheels
  • all models are based on one 3-wheel trolley design
  • Instead of a standard caster, the front slides on its axle and is pushed back to center by a choice of simple methods. (This method is cheap and clever, but unstable and does not turn as well as designs with casters.)
TROLLEYS
low wooden cart.
Wooden trolley chair.
Wooden trolley chair.
SALES CART
Wooden chair with canopy on top
WHEELCHAIRS
Wheel attachd to wooden structure.
piece of inner tube to center wheel after turning
Wooden chair connected to wheels.

Asia-Pacific Disability Aids and Appliances Handbook,
International Commission on Technology and Accessibility (ICTA)

(out of print)

  • brief descriptions and non-technical drawings and addresses for information on many aids
TROLLEYS ADAPTED
TRICYCLE
ONE-HAND
POWERED
TRICYCLE
low wooden trolley with middle peg.
high back low wooden trolley with middle peg.
DVC Ch64 Page 605-3.png
DVC Ch64 Page 605-4.png
‘HOMEMADE’ ELECTRIC
WHEELCHAIR USING
CAR FAN MOTOR AND
BICYCLE PARTS
WHEELCHAIR
TO BE PULLED
OVER ROUGH GROUND
TILT CART
DVC Ch64 Page 605-5.png
DVC Ch64 Page 605-6.png
DVC Ch64 Page 605-7.png

An Accent Guide to Wheelchairs and Accessories

(out of print)

  • information about different aids, features, and accessories of factory-made chairs
  • basic information on cleaning and repairing
  • design and building information limited to a few accessories
LAP TRAYS
folding lap tray.
narrow lap tray.
wide lap tray.
REMOVABLE
ARMRESTS
BACKS
wheelchair back.
arm rest in down position
arm rest being removed.

UPKARAN: A Manual of Aids for the Multiply Handicapped

Bandra Reclamation
K.C. Marg, Bandra (West)
Mumbai 400 050, INDIA

  • an excellent resource
  • many simple, practical designs for seating, wheelchairs, crawlers, standers, walkers, therapy aids, and toys
SEATS WHEELCHAIRS
low seat
high seat.
adjustable
adjustable seat.
toilet adaptation
DVC Ch64 Page 605-16.png
DVC Ch64 Page 605-18.png
PUSH-ALONG TRICYCLE WITH SUPPORT WALKER-RIDER TIRE SCOOTER
front wheels only trike.
DVC Ch64 Page 605-20.png
cart with oars for pushing.
DVC Ch64 Page 605-22.png

How to Make Basic Hospital Equipment
Practical Action Publishing

The Shumacher Centre
for Technology and Development
Bourton on Dunsmore
Rugby, Warwickshire
CV23 9QZ UNITED KINGDOM

Also available through TALC and Healthlink Worldwide

  • simple, attractive designs using tube steel
  • welding skill required; fairly costly to make
  • no designs for casters-in-front chairs
HOSPITAL WHEELCHAIR OUT-OF-HOSPITAL
WHEELCHAIR
(2 wheels only)
BICYCLE AMBULANCE
wheelchair with straight leg support.
wheelchair
wheelchair with bike attachment.
CHAIR MADE WITH
WHEELS OF RATTAN
(also works as a walker)
ONE-HAND DRIVEN
TRICYCLE
DVC Ch64 Page 605-26.png
DVC Ch64 Page 605-27.png

Poliomyelitis—A Guide for Developing Countries
by R.L. Huckstep

(out of print)

  • detailed designs for 3 models of wheelchairs commonly used in Africa
  • only casters-at-rear designs (which often may not be the most appropriate design)
WHEELCHAIRS
DVC Ch64 Page 606-1.png
DVC Ch64 Page 606-2.png
DVC Ch64 Page 606-3.png
DVC Ch64 Page 606-4.png
2-HAND POWERED TRICYCLE
DVC Ch64 Page 606-7.png
DVC Ch64 Page 606-8.png
basic frame
DVC Ch64 Page 606-5.png
DVC Ch64 Page 606-6.png

Positioning the Client with Central Nervous System Deficits: The Wheelchair and Other Adapted Equipment
by Adrienne Falk Bergen and Cheryl Colangelo

(out of print)

  • excellent detailed discussion of specific needs of children with cerebral palsy
  • many well-illustrated examples
  • written for developed countries but many aids and designs are simple and can be made anywhere at low cost
SEAT BELTS
WRONG RIGHT WRONG RIGHT
child in wheelchair with hips tilted forward.
child with hips pulled back by a higher belt in wheelchair.
child slumped forward with a high belt in whellchair.
child sitting upright with a low belt in wheelchair.
This child, whose hips tilt
forward, needs a higher belt.
This child, whose hips tilt
back, needs a low belt.

‘Build Yourself’ Plastic Wheelchair
Directions for assembly available from:

DVC Ch64 Page 606-13.png

Spinal Research Unit
Royal North Shore Hospital of Sydney
St. Leonards, NSW 2065 Australia

  • plastic frame made of 9 m. of 15 mm. PV C pressure pipe; plastic set of 8 mm. soft PV C tubing; 2 rear 24 inch bicycle wheels; 2 front casters (15 mm.)
  • Plastic will sag with continued use.
  • uses standard bicycle axles—which will bend with the weight of an adult or large child
  • relatively lightweight
  • does not fold
  • design plan complicated and difficult to follow
  • relatively expensive (materials about US $100)

Measuring the Patient
Everest and Jennings, Inc.
Graham-Field Health Products

2935 Northeast Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30360, USA
www.grahamfield.com
email: [email protected]
tel: 770-368-4700

  • good information on measurements for standard chairs
  • illustrated discussion of problems with chairs that do not meet a person’s specific needs
SEAT HEIGHT
man in wheelchair with foot rests too low to the ground.
too low
unsafe
man in wheelchair that is too high to fit under the desk.
too high

Functional Aids for the Multiply Handicapped
by Isabel Robinault

(out of print)

  • mostly factory-built examples but some are simple and well-illustrated enough to serve as design guides
  • many good wood special seats
  • also support frames, standers, walkers, toys, and eating aids
SMALL-WHEELED
ADJUSTABLE WALKERS
CHILD’S TRICYCLE
WITH BODY SUPPORT
BOLTED TO FRAME
DVC Ch64 Page 606-16.png
DVC Ch64 Page 606-17.png
DVC Ch64 Page 606-18.png
SCOOTER THAT IS ALSO
A WHEELED STANDER
SUPPORT FRAME
DVC Ch64 Page 606-19.png
DVC Ch64 Page 606-20.png


This page was updated:19 Jan 2018