The origins and early developments of special/adaptive wheelchair seating

Watson, N. and Woods, B. (2005) The origins and early developments of special/adaptive wheelchair seating. Social History of Medicine, 18(3), pp. 459-474.

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The design and use of wheelchairs significantly changed during the last half of the twentieth century, enabling greater mobility, independence, and social inclusion for the user. Among many innovations was the development of special or adaptive seating. Emerging in the last quarter of the century from a multifaceted and multidirectional movement, special or adaptive seating transformed wheelchairs from simple mobility tools into postural aids. They afforded the possibility for people with learning disabilities and/or severe physical impairments to leave the confines of institutional life and access the wider community. This article explores the social and technical processes involved in the rise and formation of this movement and resulting technology. We chart early developments in special seating and show how the wheelchair developed, both as a response to and as a catalyst of social change

Item Type:Articles
Keywords:Learning Difficulties, Wheelchair, Seating, Innovation, De-Institutionalization, History, Disability
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Watson, Professor Nicholas
Authors: Watson, N., and Woods, B.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Health and Wellbeing > Social Scientists working in Health and Wellbeing
College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Sociology Anthropology and Applied Social Sciences
Journal Name:Social History of Medicine
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN (Online):1477-4666

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