The University of Alabama

Changing Lives: Equity for Wheelchair Users

Medical support services

We will address the most difficult challenges faced by wheelchair users, bolstering quality of life and restoring a measure of equity within the disabled community.

View Project Website

Project Locations

Take Action

Connect with us

To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

There are 3 million wheelchair users in the United States. The wheelchair user’s experience exposes them to a unique set of obstacles that can produce inequitable results in comparison to the regularly-abled population. Our 100 & Change idea is a bold proposal to address and mitigate some of the most difficult challenges faced by wheelchair users, thereby bolstering quality of life and restoring a measure of equity within the disabled community. We will address three distinct facets of the wheelchair user’s experience: the availability and affordability of a quality wheelchair, a wheelchair that is properly fitted to the user and their needs, and the training and receipt of proper care and self-care for wheelchair users.

Problem Statement

We will address three distinct facets of the wheelchair user’s experience: 1. Availability: Many users and their families are not equipped to address the financial burden of ensuring the wheelchair user has a quality, fitted manual wheelchair. Wheelchairs can be acquired through Medicaid or private insurance, however, depending on the state, a user may only get a wheelchair every 5-7 years. This hurts children especially, as they are left with a wheelchair that is either too large or too small as they continue to grow in the same wheelchair.2. Fit: When a wheelchair user is in an ill-fitting wheelchair, their functionality, comfort and health all suffer as a result. Unfortunately, many seating companies and their employees are not trained on how to properly seat people. 3. Care: Primary care physicians aren’t properly trained on the care of wheelchair users. As a result, when a family learns that their child will be a wheelchair user they are not educated on proper care. This can lead to setbacks in care for a child wheelchair user as well delayed milestones of self-care that the child wheelchair user should reach as they age.

Solution Overview

Our solutions are tailored to the three identified problems: 1. Availability: A fund will be established to support the purchase of quality wheelchairs across the wheelchair population nationally. Depending on the demand for the year, we will either reimburse users for a portion of the purchase price for a quality wheelchair, or we will purchase the wheelchair outright, and give it to the wheelchair user. 2. Fit: We will create a training program explaining how a user is properly fitted to a wheelchair. The program will be distributed to wheelchair users, their caregivers, and wheelchair distributors nationally. It will also be published to our website and publicized. 3. Care: We will create a training program for primary care providers, wheelchair users, and their families on the proper care for a wheelchair user. The program should cover both the care of a young child in a wheelchair and the self-care measures that the child must learn as they mature. The program will be distributed to wheelchair users, their families, medical caregivers, and it will also be published to our website and publicized.

+ Read More

More Solutions Like This

Highly Ranked

Medical support services

Hope and Healing International

Revolutionizing Prosthetics, Redefining Disability

Canada, Italy, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Uganda, India, Kenya, Liberia, Philippines, Zambia

Medical support services

The George Washington University

Eliminating Physical Immobility for Children (EPIC) in Africa

Uganda, Zambia, Tanzania