Design Changes of a Lightweight, Durable, Adjustable Composite Backrest Mounting

Eun-Kyoung Hong, B.S1,2 ; Jonathan Pearlman, PhD1,2 ; Benjamin Salatin, B.S1,2 ; Hongwu Wang, M.S1,2 ; Hsin-Yi Liu, M.S1,2 ; Rory A. Cooper, PhD 1,2 ; Todd Hargroder, CEO3
1 Human Engineering Research Laboratories, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System, Pittsburgh, PA
2 Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, University of Pittsburgh
3 Accessible Designs, Inc., TX


This paper explains the design changes during development of a lightweight, durable, adjustable, composite backrest mounting which may be applied to rigid backrests. The purpose of the design changes is to provide angle adjustment with only one hand, without undue strength or complicated procedures. The current design includes a one-hand operational spring loaded mechanism with gears for adjustment of the backrest angle. Wheelchair users only need pull the chord which connects both side components for disengaging the gears. Future directions include holding another focus group and gathering feedback before conducting ANSI/RESNA testing and clinical trials.


backrest; manual wheelchair; design; adjust


The study is funded by Accessible Designs-National Institutes of Health (NIH) (Grant # 1R43HD056705).

Eun-kyoung Hong, 7180 Highland Drive building 4, 2nd floor, East Wing, 151R-1 Pittsburgh, PA, 15206. (412)-954-5287