Successfully Navigating Curbs In Manual Wheelchair

a woman smiling outdoors
Curated by
Kelly Berger
Content via WheelzOfFortune
Curated by
Kelly Berger

Learning how to get up and down a curb is a helpful task to learn for a manual wheelchair user who travels independently. Joseph Visaggi, a paraplegic, demonstrates how he gets up and down a curb in his wheelchair when a ramp is not available.

First, Joseph shows how he successfully gets down from a curb in his wheelchair. Joseph achieves this skill by evenly approaching the curb pushing strongly with both hands on his back wheels. Then using his trunk muscles to slightly tilt back in his chair while lifting the front wheels off the ground, Joseph imitating the classic "wheelie." He brings his chair back to all fours once back on the flat surface.

Next, Joseph demonstrates how he maneuvers his wheelchair to get up a curb. He approaches the curb evenly, pushing from his back wheels, leans his weight back in his chair to pop a wheelie, getting the front two smaller wheels off the ground. He then leans his body weight forward to gain momentum and pushes strongly with his back wheels, climbing the curb and victoriously makes it atop the curb.

Lastly, Joseph uses a portable fold-up ramp as another method of getting up and down a curb in a manual wheelchair. This method could be helpful for those that prefer a safer smoother alternative. Joseph sets down the ramp over the curb, leaning over to unfold the ramp with his arms to adjust to his chair width, pushing it up against the height of the curb securing the angle to support the weight of him and his chair. He pushes himself up and down on the ramp, successfully getting over the curb utilizing his portable ramp which has now made the surface barrier-free.

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