Choosing a Wheelchair: A Guide for Optimal Independence

Front Cover
O'Reilly, 1998 - Family & Relationships - 180 pages

The wheelchair is a liberator, not a prison. With the right wheelchair, quality of life increases dramatically. Even people with severe disabilities can have a considerable degree of independence and activity. However, choosing the wrong chair can indeed be tantamount to "confinement."

People selecting a chair for the first time can be distracted by emotions of loss or anger, overwhelmed with the amount that there is to learn and the number of features to consider, and unsure of their part in the selection process. Experienced chair users might know features on their present chair that don't work well, but are probably not aware of all the fast-changing choices in technology, features, or manufacturers.

Choosing a Wheelchair: A Guide for Optimal Independence, a companion title to Life on Wheels guides you through the selection process to help you identify the chair that can provide you with optimal independence.

Contents include:

  • The wheelchair as a mobility tool
  • The selection process and your part in it
  • How to compare manufacturers (including smaller, niche manufacturers)
  • Basic choices, such as power or manual? Fixed frame or folding?
  • Features and options for both power and manual chair users
  • Paying for the chair and insurance
  • Wheelchair maintenance
  • A primer on wheeling technique

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Choosing a Wheelchair: A Guide for Optimal Independence

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Written for first-time buyers and experienced chair users who need to replace their current wheels, this guide takes the reader through the selection process, discussing issues to consider when buying ... Read full review


The Wheelchair Revolution
Large Versus Small Manufacturers
Who Pays for Your Chair?

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About the author (1998)

When he was 18, in 1973, Gary fell out of a tree, breaking his spine in mid-back and becoming paraplegic. After his accident, Gary went on to college, graduated, and worked in the computer graphics field. In that field, he started a desktop services division, and conducted training and presentations. In 1992, Gary developed a repetitive strain injury. After recovering, he began his own ergonomics consulting business, Onsight Technology, which offers training and individual workstation consultation to range of clients in the San Francisco Bay Area. Outside work, Gary has been performing music -- guitar, piano and singing -- in local cafes and coffeehouses since he was a teenager and has recorded an album of original guitar music. In 1988 a friend introduced him to juggling, and Gary has been hooked ever since. He enjoys the juggling community, the necessity of making mistakes, pushing the envelope of what you are able to do, the Zen experience of staying in the moment, and juggling with others in passing patterns. He has also produced, performed and emceed at fundraisers and competitions. Gary's first book, Choosing a Wheelchair, was published in the summer of 1998. In his writing, Gary is interested in helping people educate themselves and adapt so that they can have the best quality of life possible.

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