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The SCI Empowerment Project Videos

Funding for these videos was provided by the Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. Please complete our short feedback survey after watching a video. Thank you.

Click here for the SCI Empowerment Health Guides.

Video Series Topics

Hand Function after Spinal Cord Injury

Lower Limb ACE Wrapping Technique for Spinal Cord Injury

Profiles of Aging with a Spinal Cord Injury

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Respiratory Management

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Wheelchair Skills Video Seriesman in wheelchair with front wheels off the ground, demonstrating a wheelie

Learn the proper techniques for performing manual wheelchair skills, managing different kinds of terrain, and transferring to and from your wheelchair, so you can be as independent as possible in your life. These short videos will show you how.

Foundational Wheelchair Techniques

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Wheelchair Pushing Techniques

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Transfer Techniques

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Wheelchair Skills Videos References and Resources

Videos 1 – 12:

  1. Anneken V, Hanssen-Doose A, Hirschfeld S, Scheuer T, Thietje R. Influence of physical exercise on quality of life in individuals with spinal cord injury. Spinal Cord. 2010;48:319-399.
  2. Axelson P, Chesney D, Minkel J, Perr A. The Manual Wheelchair Training Guide. 1st ed. San Francisco, CA: PAX Press; 1998.
  3. Best K, Kirby R, Smith C, MacLeod D. Wheelchair Skills Training for community-based manual wheelchair users: a randomized controlled trial. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2005;86:2316-2123.
  4. Bonaparte J, Kirby R, MacLeod. Learning to perform wheelchair wheelies: comparison of 2 training strategies. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004;85:785-793.
  5. Bonaparte J, Kirby R, MacLeod D. Proactive balance strategy while maintaining a stationary wheelie. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2001;82:475-479.
  6. Coolen A, Kirby R, Landry J, et al. Wheelchair Skills Training Program for clinicians: a randomized controlled trial with occupational therapy students. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004;85:1160-1170.
  7. Kilkens O, Post M, Dallmeijer A, van Asbeck F, van der Woude L. Relationship between manual wheelchair skill performance and participation of persons with spinal cord injuries 1 year after discharge from inpatient rehabilitation. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2005;42:65-74.
  8. Kirby R, Gillis D, Boudreau A, et al. Effect of a high-rolling-resistance training method on the success rate and time required to learn the wheelchair wheelie skill. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2008;87:204-211.
  9. Kirby R, Smith C, Seaman R, Macleod D, Parker K. The manual wheelchair wheelie: a review of our current understanding of an important motor skill. Disabil Rehabil: Assistive Technology. 2006;1:119-127.
  10. Kirby R, Bennett S, Smith C, Parker K, Thompson K. Wheelchair curb climbing: randomized controlled comparison of highly structured and conventional training methods. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2008;89:2342-2348.
  11. Kirby R, DiPersio M, MacLoed D. Wheelchair safety: effect of locking or grasping the rear wheels during a rear tip. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1996;77:1266-1270.
  12. Koshi E, Kirby R, MacLeod D, Kozey J, Thompson K, Parker KE. The effect of rolling resistance on stationary wheelchair wheelies. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2006;85:899-907.
  13. Kwarciak A, Cooper RA, Fitzgerald SG. Curb descent testing of suspension manual wheelchairs. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2008;45:73-84.
  14. MacPhee A, Kirby R, Coolen A, Smith C, MacLeod D, Dupuis D.. Wheelchair Skills Training Program: a randomized clinical trial of wheelchair users undergoing initial rehabilitation. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2004;85:41-50.
  15. Wheelchair Skills Training Program. Dalhousie University. Available at: http://www.wheelchairskillsprogram.ca/. Accessed September 18. 2010.

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References for Videos 13 – 16:

  1. Boninger ML, Koontz AM, Sisto SA, et al. Pushrim biomechanics and injury prevention in spinal cord injury: Recommendations based on CULP-SCI investigations. J Rehabil Res
  2. Boninger ML, Souza AL, Cooper RA, Fitzgerald SG, Koontz AM, Fay BR. Propulsion patterns and pushrim biomechanics in manual wheelchair propulsion. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2002;83(5):718-723.
  3. Craig Hospital Wheelchair Skills: Two Person Assist Going Up and Down Stairs. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5De_6_Gfjq4. Published October 2, 2015.  Accessed June 27, 2016.
  4. Dieruf K, Ewer L, Boninger D. The natural-fit handrim: factors related to improvement in symptoms and function in wheelchair users. J Spinal Cord Med. 2008;31:578–585.
  5. Hastings JD, Betz KL. Seating and wheelchair prescription. In: Field-Fote EC, ed. Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation. Philadelphia, PA: F A Davis Company; 2009: 161-210.
  6. Hastings JD, Fanucchi ER, Burns SP. Wheelchair configuration and postural alignment in persons with spinal cord injury. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2003;84(4):528-534.
  7. Hastings JD. Tips for choosing the right wheelchair. NW Regional SCI System Forum. Available at http://sci.washington.edu/info/forums/reports/wheelchair_choosing.asp. Presented April 9,2013. Accessed June 27, 2016.
  8. Kinney, B. Opening doors from a wheelchair. Paralyzed Living. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5De_6_Gfjq4. Published May 27, 2014. Accessed June 27, 2016.
  9. Kwarciak AM, Sisto SA, Yarossi M, Price R, Komaroff E, Boninger ML. Redefining the manual wheelchair stroke cycle: Identification and impact of nonpropulsive pushrim contact. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2009;90(1):20-26.
  10. Mason BS, van der Woude LH, Goosey-Tolfrey VL. The ergonomics of wheelchair configuration for optimal performance in the wheelchair court sports. Sports Med. 2013;43(1):23-38.
  11. Mason BS, Van Der Woude LH, Tolfrey K, Lenton JP, Goosey-Tolfrey VL. Effects of wheel and hand-rim size on submaximal propulsion in wheelchair athletes. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2012;44(1):126-134.
  12. Medola FO, Fortulan CA, Purquerio BM, et al. A new design for an old concept of wheelchair pushrim. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2012;7: 234–241.
  13. RESNA Position on the Application of Ultralight Manual Wheelchairs. Arlington, VA: Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America; 2012. Available at: https://www.resna.org/sites/default/files/legacy/resources/position-papers/UltraLightweightManualWheelchairs.pdf. Accessed March 29, 2016.
  14. Richter WM, Rodriguez R, Woods KR, et al. Reduced finger and wrist flexor activity during propulsion with a new flexible handrim. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2006;87:1643–1647.
  15. Sauret C, Bascou J, de Saint Remy N, Pillet H, Vaslin P, Lavaste F. Assessment of field rolling resistance of manual wheelchairs. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2012;49(1):63-74.
  16. Smith EC. Get a grip: Handrims.  Northwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury System Newsletter. Available at: http://sci.washington.edu/tips/#handrims. Accessed: April 2, 2016.
  17. van der Linden ML, Valent L, Veeger HE, et al. The effect of wheelchair handrim tube diameter on propulsion efficiency and force application (tube diameter and efficiency in wheelchairs). IEEE Trans Rehabil Eng. 1996;4:123–132.
  18. van der Woude LH, Bouw A, van Wegen J, van As H, Veeger D, de Groot S. Seat height: Effects on submaximal hand rim wheelchair performance during spinal cord injury rehabilitation. J Rehabil Med. 2009;41(3):143-149. 
  19. van der Woude LH, Formanoy M, de Groot S. Hand rim configuration: effects on physical strain and technique in unimpaired subjects? Med Eng Phys. 2003;25:765–774.

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References for Videos 17– 21:

  1. Friesen EL, Theodoros D, Russell TG. Assistive technology devices for toileting and showering used in spinal cord injury rehabilitation - a comment on terminology. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2014:1-2.
  2. Friesen E, Theodoros D, Russell T. Clinical assessment, design and performance testing of mobile shower commodes for adults with spinal cord injury: An exploratory review. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2013;8(4):267-274.
  3. Friesen EL, Theodoros DG, Russell TG. Development, construction, and content validation of a questionnaire to test mobile shower commode usability. Top Spinal Cord Inj Rehabil. 2015;21(1):77-86.
  4. Friesen EL, Theodoros D, Russell TG. Use, performance and features of mobile shower commodes: Perspectives of adults with spinal cord injury and expert clinicians. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2015;10(1):38-45.
  5. Gagnon D, Koontz AM, Brindle E, Boninger ML, Cooper RA. Does upper-limb muscular demand differ between preferred and nonpreferred sitting pivot transfer directions in individuals with a spinal cord injury? J Rehabil Res Dev. 2009;46(9):1099-1108.
  6. Gagnon D, Nadeau S, Noreau L, Eng JJ, Gravel D. Trunk and upper extremity kinematics during sitting pivot transfers performed by individuals with spinal cord injury. Clin Biomech. 2008;23(3):279-290.
  7. Hastings JD. Teaching independent transfers for spinal cord injury. Medbridge website. https://www.medbridgeeducation.com/courses/details/teaching-independent-transfers-for-spinal-cord-injury. Accessed November 28, 2016.
  8. Hogaboom NS, Diehl JA, Oyster ML, Koontz AM, Boninger ML. Ultrasonographic median nerve changes after repeated wheelchair transfers in persons with paraplegia and their relationship with subject characteristics and transfer skills. PM R. 2016;8(4):305-313.
  9. Kankipati P, Boninger ML, Gagnon D, Cooper RA, Koontz AM. Upper limb joint kinetics of three sitting pivot wheelchair transfer techniques in individuals with spinal cord injury. J Spinal Cord Med. 2015;38(4):485-497.
  10. Koontz AM, Kankipati P, Lin YS, Cooper RA, Boninger ML. Upper limb kinetic analysis of three sitting pivot wheelchair transfer techniques. Clin Biomech (Bristol, Avon). 2011;26(9):923-929.
  11. Koontz A1, Toro M, Kankipati P, Naber M, Cooper R. An expert review of the scientific literature on independent wheelchair transfers. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 2012;7(1):20-29.
  12. Koontz AM, Tsai CY, Hogaboom NS, Boninger ML. Transfer component skill deficit rates among Veterans who use wheelchairs. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2016;53(2):279-294.
  13. Malassigne P, Nelson AL, Cors MW, Amerson TL. Design of the advanced commode-shower chair for spinal cord-injured individuals. J Rehabil Res Dev. 2000;37(3):373-382.
  14. Toro ML, Koontz AM, Cooper RA. The impact of transfer setup on the performance of independent wheelchair transfers. Hum Factors. 2013;55(3):567-580.
  15. Tsai CY, Boninger ML, Hastings K, Cooper RA, Rice L, Koontz AM. Immediate biomechanical implications of transfer component skills training on independent wheelchair transfers. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2016;97(10):1785-1792.
  16. Tsai CY, Hogaboom NS, Boninger ML, Koontz AM. The relationship between independent transfer skills and upper limb kinetics in wheelchair users. Biomed Res Int. 2014:1-12.

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