Pictures and Videos

Specifics Skills

Knowledge of Wheelchair Parts

Skills

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Brakes Applying and releasing push-to-lock brakes.

Push-to-lock brakes: the model initially fails to put the brakes on fully, then does so properly.

Armrests Removing and replacing armrests.

Footrests Flipping the footplates up, swinging the footrests away, then removing the footrests.

Swinging the footrests away, then restoring them. The model is simulating paraplegia.

Folding and unfolding the wheelchair Folding and unfolding the wheelchair from the side, while sitting.

Vehicle loading Placing a folding wheelchair with removable rear wheels into a car trunk.

Rolling on a Level Surface

Skills

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Rolling forwards

 

Rolling forwards, using two-handed propulsion, on a smooth level surface.
Rolling forwards, using a one-arm-alternating technique.
Crossing a street on a snowy day.
Rolling forward 10m with a one-arm-alternating technique.
Rolling backwards Using two-hand propulsion, on a smooth level surface.

Turns and Maneuvering in a Wheelchair

Skills

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Turns in place Performing 180° turns to the left and right inside a 1.5m-diameter circle.
Moving turns Making turns around a 90° corner, forwards and backwards, to the left and right.
Performing moving turns by swinging the arms and upper body, without touching the wheels.
Using the environment to turn around a corner (“drag” turn).
Using the environment to turn away from an object (“push-off” turn) while moving forwards.

Using the environment to turn away from an object (“push-off” turn) while moving backwards.

Sideways maneuvering Moving sideways to the left, by a series of forward and backward movements.
Moving sideways using the “bunny hop” technique.
Transfers out of and into the wheelchair

 

Performing a sideways transfer without sliding board. The model, simulating paraplegia, fails to move the footrests out of the way. This is acceptable, but may not always be the safest and most effective method.
Falling backwards Falling twice onto a thick elevated mat and getting back upright. In both, the model pulls on the hand-rims and flexes the neck. In the first fall, the spotter controls the chair until the fall and later assists in getting back upright. In the second fall, the model falls and gets back upright independently.
Falling improperly and dangerously. The model lets go of the rear wheels, which shoot forward (the “submarine” effect).
Falling onto a low mat. The model pulls on the hand-rims and flexes the neck.

Getting back upright after a fall, seen from two sides.

Reaching out of a Wheelchair

Skills

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Reaching the ground Maneuvering wheelchair to pick up an object from one side.
Moving pick-up by holding the object against the wheel.
Reaching a high object Maneuvering the wheelchair to reach a high object from the side.
Standing on the floor with the footrests in place to reach a high object straight ahead. Acceptable, but not recommended
Standing on the footrests to reach a high object straight ahead. Not acceptable.

Navigating Doors and Obstacles

Skills

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Doors that open away from the wheelchair Proceeding forwards through a door that opens away from the person.
Using the environment to help move forward through an opening (“slingshot” method).
Using a door and frame to help move forward (“slingshot” method) through a door that resists opening.
Doors that open towards the wheelchair Proceeding forwards through a door that opens towards the person.
Proceeding forwards through a door that opens towards the person, better illustrating the user crossing over with one hand to propel the opposite wheel.
Proceeding forwards through a door that opens towards the person, using one arm and one leg. Closing the door is not shown.
Obstacles, low Popping the casters off the floor while moving, to get over a 2cm-high obstacle.
Popping the casters over a 2cm-high obstacle, using both stationary and moving approaches.
Popping the casters over a 2cm-high obstacle, without using the hands.

Popping the casters over lines on the floor, as a learning exercise.

Moving forward and backwards over an obstacle in a wheelie position, as a learning exercise.

Crossing a threshold, common errors.

Obstacles, high Using the stationary method: popping the casters over a 13cm-high obstacle, backing up to change the caster direction, then powering over the obstacle.
Using the momentum method over a 13cm-high obstacle, including a transient wheelie.
Using the momentum method over a 13cm-high obstacle, including a transient wheelie. The wheelchair has barely enough distance between the front and back wheels to permit the skill. Also, the footplates strike the ground.

Using a full wheelie over a 13cm-high obstacle.

Using a mirror to assist in timing caster pop over a 13cm-high obstacle, as a learning exercise

Irregular Rolling Surfaces

Skills

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Cross-slope Propelling the wheelchair across a 5 ° cross-slope, with the downhill side on the right, then the left.
Increased rolling resistance, carpet Using two-handed propulsion, in the forward direction.
Increased rolling resistance, gravel Using two-handed propulsion and transient wheelies.
Using two-handed propulsion and a full wheelie.
Pot-holes Using transient wheelies over 15 and 30cm pot-holes.
Negotiating a 15cm pot-hole backwards with one arm and one leg.
Negotiating a 30cm pot-hole backwards with one arm and one leg.

Using a full wheelie to negotiate a 15cm pot-hole. Not recommended for larger pot-holes.

Inclines, ascent Ascending 5 ° incline, using two-handed propulsion, forward.
Ascending incline, using two-handed propulsion, uphill in snow.
Inclines, descent Descending 5 ° incline, using two-handed method, forward, on all four wheels, letting the hand-rims slide through the fingers. The spotter is not touching the shoulder.
Descending 7.5 ° incline, forward, on all four wheels performing turns (“slalom”) while descending.
Descending incline in snow, requiring two-handed propulsion.

Descending a 7.5 ° incline in the wheelie position.

Good spotting technique during 7.5 ° incline wheelie forward descent.

Poor spotting technique during 7.5 ° incline wheelie forward descent.

Using carpet on a 5° incline to increase rolling resistance during a wheelie forward descent, as a learning exercise.

Stopping part way down a 7.5 ° incline.

Starting a wheelie part way down a 7.5 ° incline.

Performing turns (“slalom”) while descending a 7.5 ° incline in the wheelie position.

Performing a 360° turn in the wheelie position on a 7.5 ° incline.

Descending a long incline outdoors in the wheelie position.

Descending a steep incline outdoors on grass in the wheelie position.

Level changes, ascent Ascending 5cm level change, using two-handed propulsion, forwards.
Popping casters over lines on floor while moving forward, as a learning exercise.
Ascending 5cm level change, using a backwards rear-hitch method.

Using the momentum method to ascend a 10cm level change: popping too much, popping too early, then correctly.

Popping casters up on and down from a 10cm level change, using a mirror for feedback.

Using the momentum method to ascend a 10cm level change, with a mirror to assist in judging the timing.

Ascending a 10cm level change, using the full-wheelie method.

Ascending a 10cm level change, using the rear hitch method, as a learning exercise.

Ascending a 15cm level change, using the momentum method.

Level changes, descent Descending 5cm level change, using two-handed propulsion, forwards. This is not safe on larger level changes.
Descending 15cm level change, Using two-handed propulsion and the straight-backwards method.
Descending a 10cm level change in the wheelie position, using a mirror to see where the edge is, as a learning exercise.

Descending a 15cm level change using the standard forward wheelie method.

Descending a 15cm level change using the standard forward wheelie method, but the casters do not touch down as soon as they should.

Descending a level change outside onto a street. Checking for oncoming traffic is important, but is not shown here.

Performing Wheelies

Skills

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Wheelie Tilt Rest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wheelies, no-hands rest

Seven different methods to perform a tilt rest.

 

Tipping the wheelchair backwards, using the pull-back method.

Releasing the brakes like this should be avoided, because it allows the rear wheels to move forward (the “submarine” effect).

Using good spotter technique to avoid the “submarine” effect.

Tipping the wheelchair backwards, using the roll-back method.

Using good spotting technique during the roll-back method.

Resting against a 10cm level change.

Resting against a level change that is too low, allowing a rear tip.

Wheelies, stationary Attempting to perform a wheelie. The fixed rear anti-tip devices make this unsuccessful.
Performing a stationary wheelie for 10s in a 1.5m-diameter circle.
Using a spotter strap to limit the extent of a rear tip during training.

Using a backward-then-forward approach to achieve wheelie takeoff, then using a forward-only approach. This is followed by takeoffs while moving forwards slowly and more quickly.

Using the reactive balance strategy, with the rear-wheel movement following the tips.

Using the proactive balance strategy, keeping the rear wheels in motion to avoid tips.

Training in a pothole, as a learning exercise.

Training with a level change and cinder blocks (initially tightly pressed against the wheels, then more loosely), as a learning exercise.

Performing a stationary wheelie in gravel. In addition to being useful in negotiating gravel, this can be used as a learning exercise when first learning to perform wheelies.

Wheelie on a soft surface (a gym mat here). In addition to being useful when negotiating soft surfaces, this can be used as a learning exercise when first learning to perform wheelies.

Performing wheelie takeoffs with too little, too much, then the correct amount of popping force.

Performing a wheelie with two fingers of one hand.

Using a foot to assist takeoff for a one-handed wheelie.

Maintaining wheelie balance with the eyes open, then closed.

Performing wheelies with the knees extended, then flexed. More force and a greater pitch angle is needed when the knees are extended.

Performing wheelies with the body in different positions. When the trunk is flexed, more force and a greater pitch angle are needed.

Performing wheelies with the rear axle moved forward. Less force and a smaller pitch angle are needed.

Wheelies, rolling forwards Rolling forwards, one hand at a time.
Using two hands at the same time, starting with a single push, as a learning exercise.
Using two hands at the same time, and a series of pushes.
Wheelies, rolling backwards Rolling backwards, one hand at a time.
Using two hands at the same time, starting with a single push, as a learning exercise.
Using two hands at the same time, and a series of pushes.

Rolling backwards on carpet.

Rolling backwards up an incline, as a learning exercise.

Wheelies, turns in place Starting with minimal turns, progressing to 90°.
Turning 180° to the left and right.
Turning in a complete circle.

Wheelie and wheelie turn in place with one hand.

Wheelies, moving turns Moving turns forwards, starting with a wide radius 90° turn, progressing to a narrow radius one.
Moving turns backwards, starting with a wide radius 90° turn, progressing to a narrow radius one.
Moving turns, forward and backward, to left and right, using two-handed propulsion.

Moving turn forwards, 180°.

Moving turn backwards, 180°.

Use of Stairs and Escalators

Skills

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Escalator Ascending an escalator: getting on, seen from the back and front. This is not recommended without a spotter.
Ascending an escalator: getting off, seen from the back and front. This is not recommended without a spotter.
Descending an escalator: getting on, seen from the front and back. This is not recommended without a spotter.

Descending an escalator: getting off, from the front and back. This is not recommended without a spotter.

Stair descent Descending stairs backwards. This is not recommended without a spotter.

In viewing the videotapes on this website, the viewer should be aware of the following:

  • In many videos, we have used able-bodied models to respect the privacy of actual wheelchair users. We hope to include more wheelchair users as time goes on.
  • Although we recommend that spotters be used when performing skills that might result in wheelchair tips or falls from the wheelchair, particularly when first learning to perform these skills, spotters are not shown in all of the videos because the models are highly skilled.
  • The illustrated skill methods are merely examples of how the skills may or should not be performed. The techniques that are most appropriate for specific wheelchair users are affected by the characteristics of the wheelchair user, the type of wheelchair used, how the wheelchair is set up, and the environment in which the wheelchair is used. We recommend that wheelchair users seek advice from knowledgeable people to help them decide which skills are appropriate for them and to receive training in how they should be best performed.