In order for a wheelchair product to meet the individual user’s needs, it needs to be provided through appropriate services. The 8-steps for wheelchair service are described here. Without these key steps, wheelchairs are often of no benefit or abandoned, and they may even cause physical harm (e.g. pressure sores). The WHO guidelines on appropriate wheelchair provision describes three levels of services :
- Basic Level Service Provision: Service provision for persons with disabilities who have mobility impairments but are able to sit upright in a wheelchair without the need for postural supports.
- Intermediate Level Service Provision: Service provision for persons with disabilities who have mobility impairments and require postural supports to assist with upright sitting in a wheelchair.
- Advanced Level Service Provision: Service provision for persons with disabilities who have mobility impairments and present complex postural needs, usually require customized postural support systems to be able to maintain a comfortable position to promote health and functioning. In many cases this group of persons are not able to sit upright, even with postural supports.
The following table presents the relationship between the characteristics of people requiring wheelchairs and the level of the service. It is important to understand what services are available, if any, to be able to strategize how to unite currently fragmented infrastructure and services to promote a regulated care pathway .To understand where your context stands in terms of the available service, the related funding and where the personnel gets their training and certification, please answer the questions below and the interactive section. You can also download an Excel document with this information here. Please know that this is for monitoring purposes to understand your interest in the Policy Advocacy Kit (PAK).