At SSIT we get asked to help provide all sorts of equipment for people with spinal cord injuries – see some examples on our How We Can Help pages. But the type of equipment we are asked to assist with most often, is powered add-on drives for manual wheelchairs. These devices give a power boost to lightweight manual chairs, allowing users to get the best of both worlds – self propelling wherever possible, but with power assistance for longer distances and inclines. The powered drives can help reduce shoulder strain and other difficulties, and greatly increase the range of travel and independence that is possible. As with all equipment, choosing the right device is crucial, so we always make sure that grant applicants have received good advice and ideally the chance to try out a chosen device in whatever environments and situations that are anticipated.
We have therefore put a special fundraising focus in place for 2016, with the launch of our Wheel Appeal to help provide funds for powered add-on drives.