This online press kit has regularly updated general information about this project for use by members of the press or other parties who are interested disseminating information about advances in Wheelchair and Seating Technology.
A WheelchairNet Overview
WheelchairNet is a continuously developing resource for a broad community of people with an interest in wheelchairs: consumers, clinicians, manufacturers, funders, case managers, and researchers. It contains resources for lifestyles that include wheelchairs, wheelchair technology and research, mobility products and services, funding, and opportunities for discussion.
WheelchairNet, is designed as a primary portal and expert Internet site on the topic of wheelchairs and scooters. It is intended to be a resource for a broad community of people with an interest in wheelchairs: consumers, their families, clinicians, manufacturers, funders, case managers, and researchers. The site contains resources for adapting daily life when using a wheelchair, learning about mobility products and services, and locating research related to wheelchair technology.
WheelchairNet creates communication links between groups that don't normally have an opportunity to communicate with each other. WheelchairNet's goal is to educate and inform in order to improve wheelchair technology and its service delivery. We believe this is possible if wheelchair users, manufacturers, clinicians, funding sources, and researchers can effectively communicate and work together.
Easy searching and consistent page layout makes it possible to find a lot of information on the one website which project staff are continuously updating. All page layouts take into consideration the needs of persons with visual impairments who might be using screen readers.
Approximately two million Americans use wheelchairs as their primary means of mobility. This number continues to increase as the life expectancy extends for older persons and as people survive trauma and adapt to chronic illness. Wheelchairs well selected and fitted to a person's daily living goals can create independence and allow individuals to continue an active lifestyle.
WheelchairNet is an outreach and dissemination project of the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology at the University of Pittsburgh.
Brief history of WheelchairNet
WheelchairNet was originally developed with funds from the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDDR) within the US Department of Education, Washington, DC. It was developed as an outreach and dissemination project for the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Wheeled Mobility, which was hosted at the University of Pittsburgh from 1993 to 2003. One RERC project was WheelchairNet. The website was and is built on Pitts strong reputation for development and testing of new wheelchair technologies and has served to educate many about wheeled mobility. The archives for this RERC are located at: http://www.rercwm.pitt.edu/ WheelchairNet is now maintained as a project of the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology at Pitt.
The concept of WheelchairNet was born in the imagination of Dr. Douglas Hobson who saw the potential of the WWW to link together diverse and far-flung people who share a common interest-getting the most out of wheelchair technology. The site content and its ongoing management is largely the result of the efforts of Dr. Mary Ellen Buning.
Links and related information
Last Updated: 3-2-2006