Height adjustable wheelchair seat design
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Full time wheelchair users are at a height disadvantage during many function activities, such as transferring or reaching. Retrieving objects from the ground or a higher shelf while seated in the wheelchair can be both difficult and unsafe. Lateral transfers between surfaces at different heights can be difficult and unsafe. Sit-to-stand transfers are made simpler with a higher seat. This research project seeks to assist reach and transfers by designing a system to raise and lower a wheelchair seat over a 4'' range. The project included several needs assessment: 1) by conducting interviews and surveys, identify design needs from different stakeholder groups; 2) analysis of stakeholder groups' feedback and synthesis into design criteria; and 3) creation of design concepts for the adjustable height wheelchair seat; 4) evaluation of the design by setting up heuristic evaluation criteria and perform user testing; 5) design revision design based on user's performance and feedback. The design process included fabricating and testing of various concepts, validating design through user testing, and addresses technology transfer of the device.