Education & Evidence /

Material Matters: The Substance and Design of Custom Manual Wheelchairs

(1 hrs./ 0.1 CEUs)

General Overview:

The materials used in complex rehab technology (CRT) are sophisticated and varied.  Clinicians and ATPs recommend CRT for their patients every day, and the composition of this equipment has a direct impact on the patients’ health, functional performance, physical experience, and overall quality of life.  Clinical decision making should include a more in depth understanding of the materials that make up the equipment selected.  Yet, many clinicians and ATPs have had a lack of in-depth training and experience with these materials due to insufficient emphasis in current trainings and courses, productivity demands of the clinic, and an ever-changing industry involving improving technologies and materials.  This 60 minute live lecture will address how materials are designed, used and combined in CRT to improve the lives of wheelchair end-users and to provide an extensive look at materials that are typically incorporated into manual wheelchairs. Materials such as plastics, steel, aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber will be reviewed, with an emphasis on the complexities and variations that exist within these deceptively general material descriptions. By the end of the course, clinicians and providers will have an improved ability to recognize different materials associated with individually configured ultra-light weight manual wheelchair design and be able to discuss significant advantages and disadvantages of each material.

CEU Objectives: By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Compare 4 materials commonly used in making individually configured manual wheelchairs and the effect the materials have on weight, durability, longevity, and vibration.
  2. Recognize how 3 materials used in making individually configured manual wheelchairs effect daily function utilizing an International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) model approach.
  3. Explain at least 3 relevant health and safety hazards considered when manufacturing individually configured manual wheelchairs associated with the ISO wheelchair CRT standards that are intended to protect the end user.
  4. Discover 2 funding considerations when procuring a seating and mobility device with optimal materials relative to how those materials are medically necessary for the user.


AOTA Classification Code(s):  Category 2:  Occupational Therapy Process


See our upcoming onsite education courses at the Permobil Academy.


Full Course Detail Flyer PDF: Material Matters_Manual Wheelchair

Share Button