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State Spinal Cord Injury Service

Spinal Seating Modules

Module 10:
Power wheelchairs


This module aims to provide information about power wheelchair (PWC) interventions and prescriptions to meet the needs of clients with a spinal cord injury, who require powered mobility for independence. It also aims introduce the components of a PWC system and provide an introductory description of the clinical considerations which underlie the use and configuration of these components.

Note: only the types of PWC for independent mobility commonly used by clients with a spinal cord injury will be discussed in this module.


The PWC configuration influences the seating position of the client and interaction with the environment. A successful PWC prescription integrates the goals of optimal posture and pressure management as established in Module 7 and Module 8 , as well as functional capability and comfort.


At the end of this module, you should be able to:

  • Recognise the different types of PWC
  • Recognise indicators for PWC assessment
  • List the components of a PWC
  • List the common types of power seating functions and their applications
  • Understand the key issues on prescribing or customising a PWC for clients with a spinal cord injury
  • Recognise that the supplier is a resource for equipment assessment and trial processes
  • Conduct a PWC trial with set criteria to make informative choice
  • Have access to downloads and links to useful resources

In this module