1988 - Volume #12, Issue #4, Page #20[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
All-Terrain Wheelchair Opens Outdoors to HandicappedAn all-terrain wheelchair called The Ad-venturer, designed to be pushed, is opening up the outdoors to the disabled.
The Adventurer, which resembles a large wheelbarrow, can carry a handicapped per-son comfortably while being easily wheeled by an adult. It can be equipped with either 2 or 3 balloon tires (14 in.high and 8 in. wide).
The portable wheelchair weighs only 54 lbs. and features an aluminum frame, wide wheel base, low center of gravity and swivel front wheel. It was designed by professor Jiri Vasa, head of the rehabilitation and engineering department at Queens University, Kingston, Ont., and is being marketed by Westport Mobility Products, Westport, Ont. According to president Herb Westcott, The Adventurer has been field tested in snow, sand, water, rocks and swampy land.
Standard wheelchairs can't negotiate difficult terrain, says Westcott. `"Try pushing a typical institutional wheelchair and rider over a lawn, and you'll see how difficult it is.
"The Adventurer is the only all-terrain wheelchair designed for off-pavement travel.
It lets disabled children share the adventure of school field trips, and it allows handicapped adults access to farmland, farm shows, parks, campgrounds and other places which otherwise wouldn't be accessible."
According to Westcott, The Adventurer normally is equipped with 2 air-inflated tires, but can accommodate 3 tires. The 2-wheeler is most suited to rough, hilly ter-rain; the 3-wheeler is more appropriate for open country.
To convert the 3-wheeler to a 2-wheeler, simply remove 1 bolt, slip off the long axle and replace it with a short axle, then mount the second wheel between the rear forks. If you come to a log, rock or step, push down on the handles and push the front wheel on top of the obstruction. Then raise the rear wheel and push ahead.
To back up, pull the chair back and the swivel front wheel responds instantly, al-lowing for easy maneuverability.
Hinged, padded ann rests let you transfer safely and easily from the wheelchair to The Adventurer. Three carrying bars facilitate lifting.
For transport, The Adventurer can be loaded into the trunk or onto the roof of most vehicles, says Westcott.
A canopy (optional) shades the rider from the sun. Westcott says he may add a motor to power the unit.
The Adventurer sells for $1,200.
For more information, contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Westport Mobility Products, RR 1, Box 248, Westport, Ont., Canada KOG 1XO (ph 613 273-3030).
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