Individuals with mobility impairments rely on a wide range of assistive devices to be as healthy, independent and functional as possible. While canes, walkers, crutches, and manual wheelchairs are appropriate for many individuals, higher technology devices such as power wheelchairs and power operated vehicles (“POVs” or “scooters”) are needed by some to be fully functional. Many wheelchair users require special seating systems or other accessories such as tilt and recline capability. Each of these devices offers their user the ability to maximize freedom and independence. For instance, ultralight weight manual wheelchairs, which are designed to permit the user to propel herself over a period of years while reducing the likelihood of developing injuries due to prolonged manual wheelchair use, enable users to participate more fully in community activities, including employment and education.
- Power wheelchairs. Power wheelchairs utilize a battery to propel the user and are operated through a joystick device or some other mechanism. They can prevent pain and injury in the upper limbs caused by long term manual wheelchair use and can be extremely liberating for people with severe mobility limitations. Advances in wheelchair design include power-assisted manual wheelchairs, specialty wheelchairs for specific activities, and even power mobility devices that climb curbs and stairs.