ISS 2017 Program


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IC08: Development of Wheelchair Standards for Less-Resourced Settings

Reports that wheelchairs fail frequently and prematurely in less-resourced settings are likely due to shortcomings in product standardization and regulation in these settings. Higher durability and reliability is needed for wheelchairs used in these settings as they are subjected to unique environmental and use conditions. The standards published by the International Standards Organization (ISO 7176) test wheelchairs for durability, safety and performance but their applicability to products used in the unbuilt environment is unclear. Because of this, wheelchair-related guidelines and reports published by The World Health Organization recommended developing more rigorous durability tests for wheelchairs. This presentation will cover the quality issues reported with wheelchairs in less-resourced settings and the need for developing additional quality standards. The Standards Working Group of International Society of Wheelchair Professionals have recently designed appropriate test methods to address this need. The talk will include these developments and the future work to be conducted by the ISWP Standards Group on wheelchair quality standards for less-resourced settings.


Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this session, attendees will be able to;



Anand Mhatre, MIMSE
International Society of Wheelchair Professionals
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States

Anand Mhatre is a graduate researcher at International Society of Wheelchair Professionals (ISWP). He received his Masters from North Carolina State University in Mechatronics. With ISWP, Anand is working on developing wheelchair standards for less-resourced countries. Anand has been involved with other projects on design and development of bed-integrated weight measurement technology and development of ISWP Wheelchair Seating and Mobility Product List. He is currently working towards his PhD in Rehabilitation Science & Technology at University of Pittsburgh.

Jonathan Pearlman, PhD
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
United States


    1. Saha, R., Dey, A., Hatoj, M., & Podder, S. (1990). Study of wheelchair operations in rural areas covered under the District Rehabilitation Centre (DRC) scheme. Indian Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation, (Jul-Dec), 57 - 87.
    2. Hof, H., Hotchkiss, R., & Pfaelzer, P. (1993). Building Wheelchairs, Creating Opportunities: Collaborating to Build Wheelchairs in Developing Countries. Technology and Disability, 2(2), 1 - 14.
    3. Cooper, R. A., Gonzalez, J., Robertson, R. N., & Boninger, M. L. (1996). New developments in wheelchair standards. In Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology - Proceedings, 5, 2191 - 2192.

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