For many thousands of children who are unable to walk, the distance between home and school is insurmountable. The promise that an education could offer remains largely unrealized, regardless of how bright or how motivated these children may be.

Previous efforts have been made to provide some of these children with push rim wheelchairs or tricycle wheelchairs. However, there are inherent design issues that make these devices unsafe, impractical and nearly impossible to use on the rocky roads and hilly terrain that connect the homes, schools and communities where these children live. Furthermore, no child has sufficient wrist strength to propel themselves two kilometers to school using push rim propulsion.

In 1992, Mobility Without Barriers Foundation researchers began to identify these dynamics and challenges through initial field assessments in rural India. Since then, fourteen years of research and field testing have led to the development of a new generation of mobility options that replaces the conventional thinking embodied in previous wheelchair designs. These innovations include new propulsion and steering systems that dramatically improve the range of travel and ease of use for individuals who are propelling themselves on rough roads or hilly terrain.

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