Wheelchair Service Provision Case Studies - Appropriate Wheelchairs
Original Editor - Naomi O'Reilly as part of the Wheelchair Service Provision Content Development Project
Bao lives in a rural village. He has a bilateral above-knee amputation. Before his accident, he ran a shop on the road which runs past his village, selling general groceries. Now he can only reach the shop with help, as the pathway leading from his village to the road is long (almost 1 km), bumpy and often muddy.This has made it difficult for him and his family to keep the shop going.
A long time ago Bao received a donated orthopaedic-style wheelchair.The chair is rusted and the seat upholstery has ripped.The front castor wheels are small and the rear wheel tyres are very thin and worn. He cannot push this wheelchair along the track from his hut to the village as the wheels dig into the path. He would like to be able to get to the shop on his own, so that he is not relying on his wife or others to help him. 
Amanthi is 24 and lives with her family in a small town. She was involved in a car accident when she was 18, and became a paraplegic. Amanthi recently had a pressure ulcer, which took six months to heal.
Amanthi has an orthopaedic wheelchair, but it does not give her good support and she gets very tired in it. It does not have a cushion. She thinks this is probably why she developed a pressure sore.
Amanthi has been invited to attend a secretarial course and wants to go. However, she is worried that she will not be able to sit up all day in her current wheelchair. 
Phillip is 62 years old and lives in a small island community. Six months ago he had a stroke. He returned to his home after one month in a hospital without a wheelchair. He has been lying in bed or sitting in a chair on the veranda of his home.
Phillip cannot move his left arm or left leg. However, he is getting stronger each day and can now stand upright with the help from a family member. He is exercising his right arm, and is very keen to have a wheelchair so that he can be more mobile and less reliant on his family.
He wants to be able to move around his small home which is all on one level, and around his local community. The terrain is very sandy. One of his grandsons owns a car and says that he will take him out if he has a wheelchair. 
Sabina is 56 years old and lives in a small island community. After the birth of her fourth child many years ago, she lost most of the use of her legs. She can stand a little, but she cannot walk. She has never had a wheelchair.
Sabina lives in a small village near the sea and the surface around her home and the village is rough and sandy. She spends her time helping to care for her grandchildren, cooking and weaving. There is no room inside her home for a wheelchair, but it can be stored underneath, as her home is on stilts. 
- Sarah Frost, Kylie Mines, Jamie Noon, Elsje Scheffler, and Rebecca Jackson Stoeckle. Wheelchair Service Training Package - Reference Manual for Participants - Basic Level. World Health Organization, Geneva. 2012