For thirty years in over 60 countries, we have focused on producing durable, low-cost, and highly functional wheelchairs.

Whirlwind Wheelchair International is a non-profit social enterprise dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities in the developing world while promoting sustainable local economic development in the process. We work to make it possible for every person in the world who needs a high-quality wheelchair to obtain one, leading to maximum personal independence and integration into society. By giving wheelchair riders a central role in all aspects of our designs and projects, Whirlwind ensures that our chairs are individually appropriate for each user and his or her respective environment.

For thirty years in over 60 countries, we have focused on producing durable, low-cost, and highly functional wheelchairs. These chairs give riders the reliable and functional mobility they need to reach their full potential. Our active adult wheelchair design, the RoughRider®, is used by 60,000 riders traveling over every terrain that only the best of wheelchairs can cross, from muddy village paths to rough pot-holed urban streets.

Whirlwind headquarters is located in Berkeley, California. Whirlwind is a tax-deductible 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

Highly Functional Wheelchairs that Last and Last, even in Rough Conditions!


Wheelchair riders spend the greater part of each day trusting their wheelchairs for postural support and mobility. Wheelchairs, like cars, are about mobility and safety. Driving a city car off-road will most likely leave a person stuck and frustrated. For wheelchair riders in rough developing world conditions, the difference is that they cannot afford repairs and they cannot walk away from these situations. That’s why Whirlwind chairs are super-durable and capable on almost any terrain and use parts and materials that are readily available throughout the developing world.

A functional wheelchair designed for the challenges of its environment is a tool that enhances the rider’s ability to participate in family, social and economic activities.

The functional usefulness of a wheelchair affects the opportunities a rider can access as well as public perception of the rider and of disability. A broken-down wheelchair that is not designed for the terrain it must travel inhibits the rider’s ability to contribute to her family and community. This hurts their quality of life and diminishes the public’s perception of the capabilities and value of people with disabilities.