Established in 2007, USAID’s Wheelchair Program works to improve the availability of, access to, and sustainability of programs that provide appropriate wheelchairs in the developing world. While there are many humanitarian and development agencies involved in broader rehabilitation programs, there are far fewer who provide a comprehensive approach to the provision of suitable wheelchairs and the associated training and education that must accompany this work.
Despite an overwhelming need, only a small percentage of people in the developing world are able to obtain an appropriate wheelchair and the requisite training needed to assist them in obtaining their maximum independence and functionality. A wheelchair is more than just an aid to mobility: it can be a means to self-sufficiency and increased self-esteem; it may be a vehicle to meaningful employment and contributions to community and society; and it reduces dependency and the associated burden placed on family and friends.
Last updated: January 31, 2014