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Determining individual access spaces for supported and independent wheelchair users

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Brian Abraham


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Wheelchair access planning is challenging; manual handling risks, service user inclusion and financial and building processes must be considered. When existing domestic properties are adapted, professional standards require that individually tailored access solutions are determined. As no theoretical or research-based methods of determining these solutions exists, a suitable method is in development. This access planning method views manoeuvres as rotations around fixed points (Abraham and Johnson 2006). Research was conducted to determine these points for four-caster vehicles (e.g. glide-about chairs) (Abraham 2012). Ethical approval was given by School Ethics Committee, Mechanical and Systems Engineering, Newcastle University, UK: 2009 requirement for healthy subjects. This workshop presents this novel and practical method of improving access planning advice for self-propelled wheelchair users, scooter users and for all four-caster vehicles such as shower chairs, glide-about chairs and mobile hoists. It shows that using suitable fixed points for understanding these manoeuvres allows individual body shape, weight and chair size to be easily incorporated and indicates where space provision has smaller or greater impact: user inclusion and control of costs and risks are consequentially facilitated. Every attendee will have the opportunity to practice the method. References Abraham B, Johnson G (2006) Constrained outlines: a method for creating access guidelines for individual wheelchair users. British Journal of Occupational Therapy 69(8): 379–385. Abraham, BB (2012) Forces applied and space required relationship for four caster vehicle manoeuvres. Ph. D. Newcastle upon Tyne: Newcastle University.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Abraham B

Publication type: Conference Proceedings (inc. Abstract)

Publication status: Published

Conference Name: College of Occupational Therapists 37th Annual Conference

Year of Conference: 2013