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Wheelchairs and New Production in Indonesia

Indonesia is one of the poorest and most disaster prone countries in the world with tsunamis, earthquakes, and 155 volcanoes – like the Merapi volcano that swept away the village of Cangkringan last fall. According to the World Health Organization, there are 6.4 million children with disabilities in Indonesia and at least as many adults.…
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Whirlwind Wheelchair Proper Wheel Chair Provision

Example of ISO Standard Tests

A Whirlwind II wheelchair, shown in the photograph, was built by a factory in Quang Ngai, Vietnam. It was first subjected to the tests described in “Simplified Strength Testing of Manual Wheelchairs in Developing Countries.” A few minor strength problems were identified and corrected.  The chair was then submitted to the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System…
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Simplified Strength Testing of Manual Wheelchairs

Many small manufacturers of wheelchairs throughout the world’s developing countries do not have the resources and technical background to test their products for safety and durability. This paper suggests some essential tests which they can easily perform. The tests are based on fifteen years of experience with the Whirlwind type wheelchairs (which are manufactured and…
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Children’s Chairs in Haiti

The need for children’s wheelchairs in Haiti is great.  Our contacts on the ground tell us that even with all the aid pouring in there’s very little for kids with disabilities. Vladimir, who meets Ralf, Whirlwind’s founder, in this video about our Haiti project in the summer of 2010, lost his mother and sustained a…
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The Importance of User Choice for Cost-Effective Wheelchair Provision in Low Income Countries

by Marc Krizack, J.D., Executive Director Whirlwind Wheelchair International at San Francisco State University The limited success of free market mechanisms in wheelchair provision in low income countries requires a comprehensive, coordinated, and sustained intervention by governments, charities, and development agencies working in close collaboration with the organized movement of people with disabilities. To be effective, this effort…
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Whirlwind Wheelchair Project with CIR in Afghanistan

Whirlwind and the Center for International Rehabilitation conducted a six-day training workshop in Kabul, Afghanistan, in June 2005 that focused on skills such as wheelchair assembly and repair, fitting and user assessment. The goal of this project was to test a distribution strategy that combined central fabrication with local assembly, fitting and delivery. During the…
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Wheelchair Riders in Control

Wheelchair Riders in Control WWI’s Model of Technology Transfer by Peter Pfaelzer, Ph.D. and Marc Krizack, J.D. This article describes Whirlwind’s design methodology from its beginnings in 1980 until 2005, when Whirlwind focused on small shop manufacturing. Today we call this design methodology “User- Originated.” Although Whirlwind now designs for larger scale manufacturing with a significant…
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It’s Not About Wheelchairs

It’s Not About Wheelchairs (.pdf available here) By Marc Krizack, Whirlwind Executive Director Building an Inclusive Development Community: A Manual on Including People with Disabilities in International Development Programs, Heinicke-Motsch, Karen and Susan Sygall, editors, Mobility International, USA, 2003 Chapter 4.1. 8 pages. People wanting to provide wheelchairs to those in developing countries who need them are…
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