A Demonstration of the ‘Manufacturing Model’ Of Transferring Wheelchair Technology To Developing Countries

RESNA 28th Annual Conference - Atlanta, Georgia

Jon Pearlman MSc, Rory Cooper PhD, Rosemarie Cooper MPT, ATP, Emily Zipfel BA, Mark McCartney


Of the 20-100 million potential wheelchair users in developing countries, only 5% have access to them. The hard work of engineers, wheelchair designers, and clinicians funded by the various charitable foundations and other non-governmental and governmental sources have had an impact, but more must be done if the supply will meet the demand. In this paper, we discuss a unique approach based on a ‘manufacturing’ model, where we are primarily acting as design consultants for The Artificial Limbs Manufacturing Corporation of India (ALIMCO), a large-scale assistive technology manufacturing facility in India. We describe our approach compared to the other more classic approach of charitable distribution and small-scale workshops, and discuss pitfalls of each.

KEYWORDS: wheelchairs, technology-transfer, developing country