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State Spinal Cord Injury Service

Spinal Seating Modules

Evaluation of powered mobility

As with the manual wheelchair there is a wide range of potential details associated with power mobility that may relate to meeting the seating goals identified with the client, consider those which are relevant and document your observations and measurements.

The list below is an overview of many details that might be relevant:

  • Manufacturer, model and product code
  • Size: see downloadable specifications sheet for PWC for important measurements
  • Age of the wheelchair
  • Condition
    • A service record can assist in determining issues with the power base
    • Distinguish the wear and tear issues of the seating system from the power base
  • Features and specifications (where relevant): see Module 10 for more details
    • Drive type: Front, mid, centre, rear, four wheel drive
    • Battery: range of operation
    • Input devices: joystick, sip-n-puff, chin control, head arrays, mini/compact joystick - note mounting hardware and position
    • Additional control modules: switches, attendant control, display units, ECU
    • Powered seating features: standing, seat elevation, tilt in space, recline and elevating legrests
    • Weight capacity: bariatric and battery requirement
    • Drive wheel and castors: diameter, width, profiles and tyre types
    • Wheel lock and transport options (incl. tie down points or docking systems), satisfactory compliance with standards to be used when client occupied.

Considerations for seat, back support and postural support are similar to those for a MWC, refer to the previous section for an overview.


  1. Hobson, D. The Anatomy of a Powered Wheelchair, University of Pittsburgh
  2. Queensland Spinal Cord Injuries Service March 2015.  Comparison of Front, Mid and Rear Wheel Drive Power Chairs – Fact Sheet. Accessed: 14/12/16.