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Book part
Publication date: 25 September 2020

Rachael McDonald

Wheelchairs and mobility devices are important to enable mobility for students who are unable to functionally walk by themselves to fully participate in daily life…

Abstract

Wheelchairs and mobility devices are important to enable mobility for students who are unable to functionally walk by themselves to fully participate in daily life. However, they can be enablers or barriers to inclusion and participation for students. Children and adolescents, like other wheelchair users, have a varying number of reasons to use chairs, but what type of chair, how it is used and what type of participation it encourages or discourages is as individual as the child themselves. This is an area of practice that has little evidence on which to base decisions, leading to inconsistencies of provision practice and inclusion in mainstream environments. This chapter will discuss why children use wheelchairs in the first place, then outline some of the typical types of wheelchair available and discuss matching the child to their wheelchair. Barriers to appropriate use of wheelchairs include policy, funding, attitudes and perceived skill set. Children who use wheelchairs often do not gain the motor experiences that their peers do yet are expected to perform skilled wheeled mobility, often without training. Finally, inclusion in school is about inclusion not only in the classroom but also in all activities to do with their school-based communities.

The choice of what type of mobility a child needs is down to their self-defined goals in the context of their school environment, family and general ecosystem. Other forms of wheeled mobility included adaptive bicycles for children who are unable to utilise nonadapted bikes. The basis for assessment for wheeled mobility is the student. The most important part of adaptive seating is to match the student, their self-defined goals and their developmental needs. Barriers to inclusion are discussed. The final section of this chapter includes a discussion of where wheeled mobility is going into the future.

Details

Assistive Technology to Support Inclusive Education
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-520-7

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Article
Publication date: 10 December 2019

Fei Wang, Yuqiang Liu, Yahui Zhang, Yu Gao, Ling Xiao and Chengdong Wu

A robotic wheelchair system was designed to assist disabled people with disabilities to walk.

Abstract

Purpose

A robotic wheelchair system was designed to assist disabled people with disabilities to walk.

Design/methodology/approach

An anticipated sharing control strategy based on topological map is proposed in this paper, which is used to assist robotic wheelchairs to realize interactive navigation. Then, a robotic wheelchair navigation control system based on the brain-computer interface and topological map was designed and implemented.

Findings

In the field of robotic wheelchairs, the problems of poor use, narrow application range and low humanization are still not improved.

Originality/value

In the system, the topological map construction is not restricted by the environment structure, which helps to expand the scope of application; the shared control system can predict the users’ intention and replace the users’ decision to realize human-machine interactive navigation, which has higher security, robustness and comfort.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. 47 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2008

Martin Langner and David Sanders

Simple and affordable systems are described to assist wheelchair users in steering their wheelchairs across sloping ground. The systems can be attached to many standard…

Abstract

Simple and affordable systems are described to assist wheelchair users in steering their wheelchairs across sloping ground. The systems can be attached to many standard powered wheelchairs. Wheelchairs often steer by having two swivelling caster wheels but problems with this configuration occur when a wheelchair is driven along sloping ground because the casters can swivel in the direction of the slope. Gravity then causes the wheelchair to start an unwanted turn or ‘veer’ and the chair goes in an unintended direction. This situation is exacerbated for switch users, as switches cannot provide fine control to trim and compensate. Early experiments demonstrated that calibrating wheelchair controllers for straight‐line balance and optimising motor‐compensation did not solve this problem. Caster angle was selected to provide feedback to the wheelchair controllers. At the point when veer is first detected, a wheelchair has already begun to alter course and the job of the correction system is to minimise this drift from the desired course. A rolling road was created as an assessment tool and trials with both the test bed and in real situations were conducted to evaluate the new systems. The small swivel detector that was created could be successfully attached to caster swivel bearings. The new system was successful, robust and was not affected by changeable parameters. Although primarily intended for switch users, the methods can be applied to users with proportional controls.

Details

Journal of Assistive Technologies, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-9450

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Article
Publication date: 18 September 2019

Nurul Fadzila Zahari, Adi Irfan Che-Ani, Robiah Binti Abdul Rashid, Mas Ayu Mohd Tahir and Suzana Amat

The purpose of this paper is to reveal the significant factors that contribute to the development of the assessment framework for wheelchair accessibility to National…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to reveal the significant factors that contribute to the development of the assessment framework for wheelchair accessibility to National Heritage Buildings.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach was conducted via semi-structured interviews and go-along interview (Accessible Audit) through selected multiple case studies to reveal the main factors that contribute to the development of the assessment framework for wheelchair users in National Heritage Buildings in Malaysia. There are four National Heritage Buildings (gazetted under National Heritage Act, 2005) selected for this research.

Findings

The findings revealed a few significant factors comprising the physical built environment, organizational behavior and structure, financial resources, and existing legislation.

Research limitations/implications

This research is limited to wheelchair users and National Heritage Buildings, which was conducted through semi-structured interviews and go-along interview (Accessible Audit).

Practical implications

This research investigates the standpoints of both the National Heritage Building operators and the wheelchair users pertaining to accessibility in National Heritage Buildings with regard to their respective roles as management and users.

Social implications

The research demonstrates the importance of social participation effects on the accessibility in National Heritage Buildings based on empirical evidence in highlighting operators’ and wheelchair users’ challenges toward enhancing their accessibility.

Originality/value

This research will be a great contribution to the development of the assessment framework for wheelchair accessibility in National Heritage Buildings in Malaysia, including accessibility for pushchair, elderly, and pregnant women.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 38 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

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Article
Publication date: 8 March 2010

David A. Sanders, Martin Langner and Giles E. Tewkesbury

The purpose of this paper is to present powered‐wheelchair transducers and systems that provide more control, reduced veer on slopes, and improved energy conservation…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present powered‐wheelchair transducers and systems that provide more control, reduced veer on slopes, and improved energy conservation, while reducing effort. They are especially significant for people with movement disorders who lack sufficient hand‐grasp and release ability or sufficient targeting skill to use joysticks.

Design/methodology/approach

Laboratory test rigs are created to test proportional switches and teach potential users. Then, trials are conducted with a rolling road and in real situations. Caster angle‐measurement is selected to provide feedback to minimize drift away from a chosen course and an electronic solution was created to match driver control to caster‐steering‐position. A case study is described as an example.

Findings

Results and advantages are presented from changing from using a set of digital‐switches to a set of new variable‐switches and then adding a sensor system to prevent veer on slopes. Systems have been tested for nearly two years and shown to assist powered‐wheelchair‐users with poor targeting skills.

Research limitations/implications

The research used wheelchairs with caster‐wheels but the systems could easily be used on other wheelchairs.

Practical implications

Simple input‐devices are presented that isolate gross motor function and are tolerant to involuntary movements (proportional‐switches). A sensor system is presented that assists users in steering across sloping or uneven ground.

Originality/value

Proportional‐switches and sensors are shown to reduce veer and provide more control over turn and forward speed and turn radius while reducing frustration and improving energy conservation. The simple and affordable systems could be created and attached to many standard powered‐wheelchairs in many organisations.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 37 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 18 October 2011

David Sanders, Ian Stott, Jasper Graham‐Jones, Alexander Gegov and Giles Tewkesbury

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how to make powered‐wheelchair driving easier using simple expert systems to interpret joystick and ultrasonic sensor data. The…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how to make powered‐wheelchair driving easier using simple expert systems to interpret joystick and ultrasonic sensor data. The expert systems interpret shaky joystick movement and identify potentially hazardous situations and then recommend safe courses of action.

Design/methodology/approach

The way that a human user interacts with a powered‐wheelchair is investigated. Some simple expert systems are presented that interpret hand tremor and provide joystick position signals for an ultrasonic sensor system. Results are presented from a series of timed tasks completed by users using a joystick to control a powered‐wheelchair. Effect on the efficiency of driving a powered‐wheelchair is measured using the times to drive through progressively more complicated courses. Drivers completed tests both with and without sensors and the most recently published systems are used to compare results.

Findings

The new expert systems consistently out‐performed the most recently published systems. A minor secondary result was that in simple environments, wheelchair drivers tended to perform better without any sensor system to assist them but in more complicated environments then they performed better with the sensor systems.

Research limitations/implications

The time taken for a powered‐wheelchair to move from one place to another partly depends on how a human user interacts with the powered‐wheelchair. Wheelchair driving relies heavily on visual feedback and the experience of the drivers. Although attempts were made to remove variation in skill levels by using sets of data associated with each driver and then using paired statistical tests on those sets, some variation must still be present.

Practical implications

The paper presents new systems that could allow more people to use powered‐wheelchairs and also suggests that the amount of sensor support should be varied depending on circumstances.

Originality/value

The new systems described in the paper consistently performed driving tasks more quickly than the most recently published systems.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 38 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 1999

David Sanders and Ian Stott

This paper presents new prototype powered wheelchair systems that are easy to use and safe. The systems use simple ultrasonic sensor systems to assist users in steering…

Abstract

This paper presents new prototype powered wheelchair systems that are easy to use and safe. The systems use simple ultrasonic sensor systems to assist users in steering their powered wheelchairs. The new systems could improve the chances of some disabled children learning that behaviour and interaction with the environment can be controlled. An overview of the benefits to be offered by an automated wheelchair is included. Some results, problems and difficulties are described along with an assessment of the current position and the way forward.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2010

Kevin K Byon, Michael Cottingham and Michael S Carroll

This study examines the relationship between spectator motivation and sports consumption behaviours in the context of an adaptive sport. Respondents were spectators from…

Abstract

This study examines the relationship between spectator motivation and sports consumption behaviours in the context of an adaptive sport. Respondents were spectators from five matches held in the Midwest United States involving registered United States Quad Rugby Association teams. The Motivation Scale for Sport Consumption (MSSC; Trail & James, 2001) was adapted to measure spectator motivation and predict repatronage intentions and online media consumption among wheelchair rugby spectators. Results indicated that two spectator motivation factors, physical skill and knowledge, were related to repatronage intentions. In addition, knowledge and vicarious achievement were found to be related to online media consumption.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2009

Chun‐Ta Chen and Hoang‐Vuong Pham

The purpose of this paper is to present the mechanical design and stability analysis of a new stair‐climbing robotic wheelchair.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the mechanical design and stability analysis of a new stair‐climbing robotic wheelchair.

Design/methodology/approach

A prototype stair‐climbing robotic wheelchair is constructed comprising a pair of rotational multi‐limbed structures pivotally mounted on opposite sides of a support base. The short arm, long arm, and triangular support structures within each rotational multi‐limbed structure rotate under the actuating effects of epicyclical gear trains.

Findings

The robotic wheelchair ascends and descends stairs in a statically stable manner and has an efficient planar navigation capability.

Research limitations/implications

In its current state of development, the robotic wheelchair is controlled and powered remotely via umbilical cords rather than an onboard processor and power supply.

Practical implications

The robotic wheelchair provides an effective solution for enhancing the mobility of the elderly and disabled.

Originality/value

The rotational multi‐limbed mechanisms are developed to ensure the stability of the sitting base at all stages of the stair navigation maneuver without the need for additional servo‐mechanism. The proposed robotic wheelchair shows the simplification of the associated operation process.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 10 February 2012

Jessie Roberts, Hannah Young, Ken Andrew, Anne McAlpine and James Hogg

The purpose of this paper is to establish the outcome of wheelchair prescription procedures for carers supporting a wheelchair user with special reference to their health…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to establish the outcome of wheelchair prescription procedures for carers supporting a wheelchair user with special reference to their health and well‐being.

Design/methodology/approach

A postal questionnaire was used in conjunction with analysis of policy and practice documents in wheelchair prescription and carers' needs.

Findings

The majority of carers reported a wide range of health problems. A relationship between wheel chair type and reported carer pain was noted. Only a minority of carers considered that they had received an adequate carer's assessment, and few had received training in wheel chair management; such training where it had been carried out, led to reduced reports of pain.

Research limitations/implications

The study invites more detailed analysis of both the conditions under which wheelchair prescribing takes place and the impact of assessment and training on carers' health. The study is based on a relatively small, local sample and a more extensive study is called for.

Practical implications

Procedures for prescription of wheelchairs should be reviewed and steps taken to ensure that adequate consideration is given to the health needs of carers and the circumstances under which they will push the wheelchair.

Social implications

More thoughtful prescription of wheelchairs will lead to increased health of carers improving their quality of life and reduce demands on health services and the accompanying risk to their capacity to carry on caring.

Originality/value

The study addresses a neglected topic, which clearly identifies the consequences of inadequate prescription of wheelchairs for the health of carers, a topic generally neglected in the literature.

Details

Journal of Integrated Care, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1476-9018

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