What is WheelchairNet?

WheelchairNet is a community for people who have a common interest in (or in some cases a passion for) wheelchair technology and its improvement and successful application. WheelchairNet is a virtual community... a community that exists only in "cyber space." Cyberspace is just a way of referring to the Internet. It's a community organized along the lines of a real town. We even have a site map! This virtual town is inhabited, visited and managed by people who have an interest in wheelchairs and how wheelchairs can best serve the needs of people who use them.

Over the Six years that WheelchairNet has existed, it has added resources such as a bibliographic databases, a series of slide lectures, article reprints and an active discussion area. WheelchairNet's purpose is to serve the information needs of anyone interested in wheeled mobility. However, its primary audience is the end user-the person who uses a wheelchair. Our site uses a community metaphor and WWW media to create a forum for the free exchange of information regarding wheelchair technology and its successful use. We believe that when the end user is truly the focus of a transaction-evaluation, product development, sale or funding decision-other aspects of this complex development and delivery system fall into line.

One nice feature of WheelchairNet is that the services and information provided are free--no property taxes, no sewer and water bills, etc. Another big plus is WheelchairNet does not collect any payroll taxes from its volunteer leaders--therefore no income taxes! Over time, though, it is possible that the Town Council will decide to establish some "Bylaws" for governing the community. In the long run, WheelchairNet, like all communities, will grow or languish based on the enthusiasm and contributions of its inhabitants.

WheelchairNet was officially incorporated on January 1st, 1999, as the result of a five year grant from NIDRR to the University of Pittsburgh, in support of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Wheeled Mobility. It is currently in active Phase 3 development.

In WheelchairNet people can...

  • ask questions about wheelchair selection and use
  • get and give answers
  • meet each other
  • teach each other
  • link to information about wheelchair products and services
  • link to other resources
  • learn about and participate in wheelchair research projects
  • contribute community leadership
  • vote on important community issues
  • attend Wheelchair University

Who should think about joining this community?

  • Consumers--people who use wheelchairs.
  • Family members and other advocates--people personally involved in the daily lives of wheelchair users.
  • Clinicians--people who prescribe or provide wheelchairs.
  • Researchers--people who are involved in improving wheelchair technology.
  • Manufacturers--people who produce wheelchairs and wheelchair-related products.
  • Health Insurers or Payer--people who provide payment for wheelchair products.
  • Legislators--people who make laws that directly or indirectly affect the lives of persons who use wheelchairs.
  • Transporters--people who are responsible for the safe transport of people using wheelchairs.

We invite you to get involved!

WheelchairNet, like any community, will constantly change and grow.

  • If you find something that needs to be fixed...
  • If you think of something you would like to see...
  • If you see a way that you'd like to get involved, or want to know more--just send us a message.
  • We'll get back in touch with you right away!

Who are your town planners?

Who are our sponsors?

As opposed to cyberspace, this is where you can find us in "real space:"

The RERC (Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center) on Wheeled Mobility
5051 Forbes Tower
University of Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
How to find us on the map of the University of Pittsburgh

Back to Town Hall

Last Updated: 3-2-2006

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Return to:
WheelchairNet Home Page 

Please let us know if you find a link that doesn't work or have an idea about something to include!

Contact information:
  Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology  Telephone: 412.624.6279

 © Copyright 2006 University of Pittsburgh. All rights reserved.
No quotes from the materials contained herein may be used in any media without attribution to WheelchairNet and the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology.

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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