WHO and USAID have published Guidelines on the Provision of Manual Wheelchairs in Less Resourced Settings and determined requirements for wheelchair donations.
Wheelchairs that don't meet the above standards are useless in less resourced settings. A pile of discarded wheelchairs sits in Joytown, at left.
Each year we include two types of similarly sized wheelchairs in the Wheels study. We’ve been able to facilitate the donation of study wheelchairs to Bethany Kids for children at Joytown in Thika, Kenya, where more than 300 children with disabilities attend boarding school. After the wheelchairs have been in use for several months we return to collect data on how well the wheelchairs function.
In 2011, the two study chairs were 12” wide pediatric wheelchairs: the Regency Pediatric Wheelchair made in the USA and distributed around the world by Joni and Friends, and a pediatric wheelchair made in Kenya by the Association of the Physically Disabled of Kenya (APDK). Click here for a summary of results presented at the International Seating Symposium (link to ISS paper). Both wheelchair providers are responding to the results of our study.
In 2012, the two study chairs are 14” wide pediatric wheelchairs: the KidChair made by Hope Haven in Guatemala and a similarly sized pediatric wheelchair made in Kenya by APDK. (photos 3 and 4). It was a pleasure to have Mark Richard, Hope Haven’s Director of Operations, with us for part of our stay in Kenya. Hope Haven and APDK have both expressed eagerness to respond.
$200 will help to cover the cost of enabling the donation of a study wheelchair for the children at Joytown. Donate online (select Wheels from the designation dropdown menu), or write a check to LeTourneau University, designating the Wheels project on the memo line, and mail it to: