A practical curb-climbing aid for wheelchair-bound paraplegic persons (a progress report).Bull Prosthet Res. 1980 Fall; 10-34:13-9.BP
The article describes in detail an arrangement of trough-shaped wheel ramps and telescoping articulating control rods intended to allow a wheelchair-bound paraplegic to quickly ascend and descend single steps or curbs as high as 8 in. Data on testing of the system with trained and untrained able-bodied male and female subjects is reported; very limited testing with paraplegics suggests that their performance may almost equal that of the able-bodied. Advantages claimed include simplicity, light weight (8 lb), and low cost. Required modification of a standard wheelchair is limited to welding a simple bracket to the outer end of each extended main wheel axle. With ramps and control rods mounted ready for prompt use, chair width is increased by a total of 6 in. When the chair is used indoors or no curbs are expected, a paraplegic occupant, unaided, can dismount the ramps and rods and store them in a canvas bag hanging from the seat back. In this configuration the chair is only 1 in wider than its original unmodified width. Further testing with handicapped occupants is intended. Good arm, hand, and lower-back strength and movement, plus good coordination, are user requirements.