Tuesday, April 27, 2010

History of My Chair

I was asked an interesting question today. When was the power wheelchair invented? So, that is what we're going to be addressing today. The simple answer is to be found on Wikipedia; the electric wheelchair was invented in the 1940s. Why was it invented? George Klein was working for the National Research Council of Canada and needed to develop a device for wounded veterans from World War II with limited mobility. The obvious benefits to the power wheelchair allowed people such as me who have limited upper body strength to move around independently. However, it's not much fun to just drive around with nothing to do, so what else is there to do but create games? Yeah, you probably knew I was going to go there. In the 1970s, French gym teachers developed a way for students who used power wheelchairs to participate in competitive soccer matches with each other. Meanwhile, an alternate version was created in Canada in the 1980s. This was the version that eventually permeated America through the traditionally progressive Cal-Berkeley. Another version of power soccer was also being developed in Japan and that version was adopted by England as well. However, in 2004, an American coach traveled to Belgium and through collaboration in Belgium as well as France decided to create an international body to govern power soccer. That, my friends, is a history of the power wheelchair and how to have fun with it. Check out the links to see where I got my info from, and keep reading!

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