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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. ISSN 0951-631X

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Abstract

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: Article
Academic Units: The University of York > Economics and Related Studies (York)
Depositing User: York RAE Import
Date Deposited: 12 Feb 2009 15:50
Last Modified: 12 Feb 2009 15:50
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/shm/hki047
Status: Published
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1093/shm/hki047
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/7467

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