WheelchairNet Offers Something for Everyone. (Technology: Innovative Web Sites Use the Internet to Break Down Real Barriers)

Article excerpt

WheelchairNet (http://www.wheelchairnet.org) is an "online community" whose goal is to offer a multitude of resources for people who use wheelchairs as well as consumers, healthcare professionals, manufacturers, case managers, and researchers.

A project of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Wheeled Mobility at the University of Pittsburgh, PA, Wheelchairnet is funded by a grant from the National Institute of Disability and Rehabilitation Research, part of the US Department of Education. RERC is involved in ongoing projects dedicated to improving the quality of life and adding to the safety and comfort of people who use wheelchairs. RERC is known for developing and testing new wheelchair technologies, and is active in researching and recommending transportation safety measures for individuals who use wheelchairs as seats in motor vehicles and in the development of cushions to prevent pressure ulcers.

An opportunity for communication

Dr. Douglas Hobson, director of the RERC, developed WheelchairNet as a way of using the Internet to bring together people who have a common interest in advancing wheelchair technology. The site was set up with the belief that wheelchair technology and service delivery will improve if wheelchair users, manufacturers, clinicians, funding sources, and researchers can effectively communicate and work together. WheelchairNet has since grown into an array of resources concerning every aspect of life for people who use wheelchairs.

Find your way with the site map

When exploring the Web site, it is a good idea to go directly to the site map. Simply click on the words "Site Map" that appear at the bottom of the home page. The site map contains an extensive list of the various topics and groups covered by Wheelchairnet, divided into broad subject groupings. …