The Manual Wheelchair Training Guide

by Axelson P, Chesney D, Minkel J & Perr A
© 1998 by PAX Press, a division of Beneficial Designs, Inc.
P.O. Box 69
Minden, NV 89423-0069
Phone: 775.783.8822
paxpress@beneficialdesigns.com

 

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: General Skills 1

1.1 The Owner's Manual 2

1.2 Set Up and Adjustment 3

Wheelchair Types 3
Wheelchair Components 5

1.3 Asking for Help 12

Defining "Assistance" 12
Who can Help? 12
How to Ask for Help 13
Describing Safe Body Mechanics 15
When You Do Not Want or Need Assistance 15

1.4 Learning Your Limits 16

Shifting Your Weight Forward 16
Shifting Your Weight Backward 17
Shifting Your Weight Sideways 17

1.5 Caster Trail 19

Changing the Caster Trail 19

1.6 Relieving Pressure 20

Forward Weight Shift 20
Side-to-Side Weight Shift 21
Push Up Weight Shift 22

1.7 Reaching, Bending, and Lifting 23

Reaching Sideways 23
Reaching Forward 24

1.8 Propelling Your Wheelchair 26

Hand Positioning 26
Basic Propulsion Stroke 27
Hand-to-Hand Propulsion 27
Propelling Backward 28
Turning 28

1.9 Wheelies 30

Partial Wheelies 30
Balance Point 31
Wheelies 32
Popping a Wheelie 32
Wheelies from Motion 32
Moving in a Wheelie 33

Chapter 2: Navigation Skills 35

2.1 Smooth Surfaces 36

2.2 Thresholds and Obstacles 37

2.3 Doorways and Tight Environments 40

Manual Swinging Doors 41
Manual Sliding Doors 44
Doors in a Sequence 44
Double-leaf Doors 45
Narrow Doors 45
Automatic Doors 47
Revolving Doors and Turnstiles 47
Doors with Objects Around Them 47
Tight Environments 48

2.4 Rough Terrain 50

Hard, Uneven Surfaces 51
Soft Surfaces 51
Crossing on Four Wheels 51
Crossing in a Wheelie 52

2.5 Ramps 53

Going Up a Ramp 53
Going Down a Ramp 56
Turning on a Ramp 59

2.6 Side Slopes 61

2.7 Curb Cuts 63

Going Down a Curb Cut 64
Going Up a Curb Cut 66

2.8 Curbs 67

Going Up Curbs 67
Going Down Curbs 70

2.9 Stairs 73

Going Up Stairs with Assistance 74
Going Down Stairs with Asssistance 76

2.10 Elevators and Platform Lifts 79

Catching an Elevator 79
Riding in an Elevator 80
Positioning Yourself in an Elevator 80
Platform Lifts 82

2.11 Escalators 84

Going Up an Escalator with Assistance 84
Going Down an Escalator with Assistance 85

2.12 Tracks and Grates 86

Crossing Railroad and Trolley Tracks 86
Crossing Grates 88

Chapter 3: Emergency Skills 89

3.1 Falling and Getting Up 90

Falling 90
Getting Up 92

3.2 Evacuation Procedures 98

Creating an Emergency Plan 99
Personal Emergency 99

Chapter 4: Special Circumstances 101

4.1 Planning Your Route 102

Transit Stops 102
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles 102
Rental Vehicles 103

4.2 Crossing Streets 104

4.3 Nighttime Safety 107

General Pointers 107
Visibility 108
Emergency Equipment 108
Protect Yourself 108
Moving Around 108

4.4 Hiking 109

Hiking Hazards 109
Prepare for Your Trip 109
Take Precautions 110

4.5 Traveling 112

Travel Planning Tips 112
Hotel Rooms 113
Restrooms 113
New Environments 113

4.6 Weather 114

Precipitation 114
Sun 116
Wind 116

4.7 Transportation 117

Cars 117
Driving 118
Taxis 118
Vans, Buses, and Trains 118
Getting In and Out 119
Riding 119
Buses and Trains 119
Airplanes 120

Chapter 5: Body Mechanics 123

5.1 Protecting Yourself 124

Body Position 124
Using Safe Body Mechanics 125

5.2 Setting Limits and Offering Help 127

How to Say "No" 127
Offering Assistance 128

Appendix A: The Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990 129

Appendix B: Accessories 131

Appendix C: References and Resources 139

Last Updated: February 5, 2001

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Please note: This information is provided a archival information from the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wheeled Mobility from 1993 to 2002.

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