Posted by Mobility Now as Wheelchairs
wheelchairs have been providing the disabled afflicted with impaired mobility to enjoy the freedom of movement long before they have been recognized as a natural human right that everyone is entitled to. Powered or manual wheelchairs are now part of the many assistive technologies or mobility aids that bring the freedom to our disabled brethren who have lost part or entire ambulatory capabilities due to injuries or debilitating neuromuscular ailments.
A lot of disabled persons take their wheelchairs for granted; little do they know that it has a rich history dating back to the ancient Chinese of the 6th century. Its invention in more recent times has been credited to no less than King Philip II of Spain. There were drawings of the king showing him in a chair with wheels, armrests and footrests.
While not anywhere near the common wheelchair we’ve come to expect, it looked more like a baby’s high chair being pushed by a nurse. But it provided the mechanical seeds for the modern wheelchair which was more an evolution from a cruder invention by John Davidson of England back in 1783.
It allowed crippled occupants to steer they way using a third wheel. During the 19th century, wheelchairs evolved where the occupant can turn the wheel with their hands. Finally in 1881, a second concentric rim was added to each wheel that allowed the rider to turn the wheel without getting their hands dirtied. 20th century wheelchairs further evolved to have more comfortable user adjustable arm and foot rests and constructed with lighter aluminum materials.
You now have manual wheelchairs for sale from just about every medical stores and online merchants. They come in various sizes and sport features that attain a level of portability and ease of storage that were not possible before. Vans, cars, SUVs have wheelchair ramp tracks that can be attached and deployed to allow easy ingress and egress to these private vehicles.
In addition, you have airlines, ships, trains and buses that deploy pneumatic or hydraulic lifts that hoist wheelchair-bound passengers to access any of these modes of transport. Public parks and places, malls and buildings employ concrete wheelchair ramps with rails that make mobility a lot more convenient for wheelchair users.
Mobility gears like wheelchairs have indeed evolved with greater sophistication that when paired with road and street infrastructures as well as transportation facilities that can accommodate them, have elevated the mobility freedoms of the disabled that could not be enjoyed before.