Money & Business

Spinal Association App Helps People Find a Wheelchair That Fits Their Needs

By / Jun 19, 2020 (PeopleImages/E+/Getty Images Plus)

With its just-released My Wheelchair Guide app, the United Spinal Association hopes to take the guesswork out of using and acquiring a wheelchair.

The United Spinal Association is turning to technology to help solve a problem for the people it serves.

That problem? How to get a wheelchair that fits a person’s specific needs.

Teaming with the University of Pittsburgh, the association recently released My Wheelchair Guide, an iOS and Android app that offers self-assessment tools, wheelchair usage guides, and tips for getting access to the right wheelchair.

“This comprehensive app covers the entire process of getting a wheelchair, providing practical information to evaluate your needs, wants, and concerns from beginning to end,” the association states on its website.

Funded by a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research, the app was developed with the help of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, with a stated goal, according to a research paper written about the app’s development: to “empower wheelchair users in taking ownership in acquiring appropriate wheelchairs, and guiding them to use their wheelchairs in a safe and effective manner.”

In a news release, United Spinal Association President and CEO James Weisman said that the application would enable people with spinal cord injuries to remain active.

“As a national nonprofit serving people with spinal cord injuries and disorders, we know how important having a properly fitted manual wheelchair is in pursuing a healthy, active and independent lifestyle,” Weisman explained.

Other associations assisting in promoting the new app include the Clinician Task Force, the National Coalition for Assistive and Rehab Technology, the National Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers, and the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America.

Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is the social media journalist for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. More »

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