How to Get A Free Wheelchair? Check These Ways

Many organizations, mainly NGOs, work towards providing free wheelchairs to people worldwide who need them. Their main objective is to provide one to everyone in need.

It is not easy, given that more than 75 million people need a wheelchair to move around. The number is more significant in poor and developing countries, where most people cannot afford a wheelchair.

In that particular respect, it is surely a novel idea. However, it also helps in many other aspects, which are worth taking a look at.

Free Wheelchairs 

Let’s start with the theory of accessibility. This is a complex subject that involves coding guidelines and legal rulings.

However, to put it simply, let’s take a look at the four basic principles of accessibility, commonly referred to as the POUR principles, namely:

  • Perceivable
  • Operable
  • Understandable
  • Robust


In the basic sense, it involves the ability to decipher information. This means that anything that is not decipherable cannot be accessible. Simply, it means conveying text or information to people who cannot see, hear or speak.

This means most websites offering content that cannot be consumed by assistive technologies, such as screen readers, cannot pass the perceivability test.


This refers to providing features that will help people with cognitive disabilities to operate the tool in question. It should be manageable and controllable, and there should not be any time limits to complete an action.

It must provide provisions for mistakes and offer instructions, warnings, cancellation options, and second chances.


The third principle involves much more than superficial understanding. It also involves its functionality, which should be easy for specially-abled people to comprehend. 

Most importantly, the user should understand the relationship between an action and its outcome distinctively and can navigate easily and consistently.

Proper guidance ensures a logical flow and makes the thing much more usable for such users.


This principle involves conventions and development standards. Anything is considered to be robust if it is consumable across different situations and platforms.

With these principles in place, accessibility is important, providing benefits. Some of them are:

  • Facilitating in mobility
  • Offering independence
  • Improving physical and mental health due to more physical activity
  • Augment self-esteem and confidence
  • Improve the quality of life and
  • Increase community participation and access.

It also offers economic benefits with increased prospects for education and service. 

Global Wheelchair Initiatives and Organizations 

As said earlier, different organizations today take different initiatives to help people who need a wheelchair but cannot afford one. 

These initiatives come in different forms and from different sources. For example, it can be donations or fund support or even providing wheelchairs for free directly to the person in need.

Different government programs are also available, alongside private financial assistance. However, qualifying to avail of these programs is a big issue in many countries since the eligibility criteria may vary.

Medicare and Medicaid are two noteworthy are two notable programs. Here the former provides financial aid up to around 80% of the cost of a new wheelchair. On the other hand, the latter is specifically designed for people whose insurance coverage does not include a wheelchair.

If you do not qualify for the government programs, you can avail of the private programs related to providing medical equipment coverage. A few of such notable private programs are:

  • Wheelchair Foundation
  • Local community aid
  • Different charity events
  • Local institutions 
  • Churches
  • individuals

There are also a few thrift shops where you can buy a used wheelchair.

It is easy to find these private or government programs and shops and their schedules. While word of mouth is one common way to find them, you can even look for them online. Additional research is required for the eligibility criteria, especially if you want to opt for those government programs.

Wheelchair Design and Customization 

The design of a wheelchair usually conforms to the regulations of the World Health Organization (WHO). It is based on different parameters and factors. These include:

  • The physical constraints and needs
  • The environment or settings for its use
  • The technology used and
  • The quality of material used.

In addition to that, there are a few general aspects to consider concerning wheelchair design. These are:

  • It must allow the user to perform all possible activities on it.
  • It should not cause any adverse effects on their user’s health.
  • It must be safe to use and operate.
  • It must be comfortable and easy to manage and control.
  • It must be solid and durable.
  • It must not result in any pressure sores.
  • It must be stable enough to eliminate the chances of tripping and falling.
  • It must not be too broad or heavy to cause difficulty in operating and shoulder injuries.
  • It must not have sharp edges that may lead to a cut and infection, especially in the fingers.
  • It must be well-built for a long life with minimal repair needs.
  • It must be resistant to moisture, sweat, and urine.

You can also have your wheelchair customized rather than a standard variant if you have a permanent disability.

These chairs usually need a prescription from a doctor to make. Whether it is a manual or a power wheelchair, the custom product will meet all your physical needs most efficiently with additional features. 

You can customize everything from the frame to the wheels, from the seat to the back and footrest. Custom wheelchairs can also be decorated with favorite patterns, colors, animated objects and stickers!

Maintenance and Repair 

Wheelchairs usually need minimal repairs, but that does not translate into zero maintenance.

Here are some useful tips for proper maintenance of wheelchairs. 

  • Inspect your wheelchair regularly. This is a good practice to notice any anomalies in it as soon as it occurs.
  • Keep your companion clean. Regular use will make it dirty, and debris on the wheels will make it less functional. Clean them regularly to prevent them from sticking to them permanently.
  • Check the condition of the tires, and do not wait if it needs a repair or replacement. Ignoring it will not only make it difficult to operate but will also increase the risk of accidents.
  • Also, check the seat and backrest because you need to be comfortable in the wheelchair to prevent injuries and pain due to poor posture.
  • Check and replace the batteries if you use a power wheelchair. Usually, such batteries last for about two years if maintained properly and recharged adequately.
  • Also, check the motor. If you find that it is not as powerful as before, have it inspected and repaired by a certified technician.
  • Check the brakes, and if you find any difficulty stopping, get it replaced immediately.
  • The leg rests can get damaged very easily because they may hit different objects while moving. Check them regularly and replace them if necessary.
  • Check for any signs on the armrests and repair them if you notice any. Improper and less functional armrests will not only be uncomfortable but may also result in skin irritation. 
  • Check the front caster forks of your wheelchair because these may wear out quickly and compromise safety.
  • Also, check the accessories and replace them if they are broken or damaged. 

Always consult with a pro regarding this matter, and never wait till the wheelchair breaks. Pay attention to the signs saying that your wheelchair needs repair. This will enable you to avoid bigger issues, accidents, and injuries.  

Assistive Technologies for Wheelchair Users 

There are different types of assistive technologies for people with disabilities. Wheelchair, as such, is one of them which assists people suffering from mobility to move around freely. 

However, in addition to that, there are a few other tools that are marvels of technology and assist wheelchair users in a significant way. These are:

  • A motorized wheelchair, which eliminates the need for physical exertion while moving the wheels.
  • A wheelchair power assist or add-on that helps in easy maneuvering.
  • Mobility scooters that are pretty much the same as powerchairs
  • One-arm drive wheelchairs that make maneuvering relatively easy.
  • Tilting and reclining wheelchairs that add to the comfort of the users.
  • Standing wheelchairs that help the users to stand up!

In addition, there are others, such as:

  • Sports wheelchairs
  • All-terrain wheelchairs
  • Wheelchair stretchers
  • Smart wheelchairs
  • Leveraged Freedom Chair
  • Handcycles
  • Wheelbase chairs
  • Bariatric wheelchairs
  • Pediatric wheelchairs
  • Hemi wheelchairs
  • Knee scooter
  • Commode wheelchairs
  • Beach wheelchairs
  • Snow wheelchairs
  • Transport wheelchais

There are even some walkers with wheels that allow people using wheelchairs to walk!

All these unique creations of technology may not be called a wheelchair in their truest sense but provide a lot of opportunities for wheelchair users to be independent.


A lot of people need a wheelchair to move, and there are a lot of people organizations as well as private and government programs that offer wheelchairs for free.

However, unfortunately, there is no reliable platform that can bridge the gap between those in need and the giving. 

Hopefully, this article has done quite a good job of providing you with all the necessary information. You can now take a more informed and educated decision. 

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