This Education in Motion resource is also available as a printable PDF.
One of the first steps in selecting a wheelchair is to determine the type of wheelchair frame that is required. According to clinical practice guidelines, a fully configurable, ultra lightweight wheelchair is recommended for an individual who uses a manual wheelchair for independent mobility1, 2. The ability to fully tailor a wheelchair for an individual will have an effect on positioning/postural support, ease of propulsion, and wheelchair stability and maneuverability. There are difference choices possible in ultra lightweight wheelchair frames – from those that fold with a cross-brace to those that are fully rigid. It is important to understand the similarities and differences in the wheelchair frames so that the initial choice of wheelchair frame type is optimal for individual clients.
When choosing between folding and rigid, consider:
Rigid wheelchairs, whether open-, closed-, or box-framed, can come in adjustable or fully fixed/welded versions. Which one is right for an individual?
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