To provide the transforming gift of mobility to people with disabilities in developing nations as motivated by Jesus Christ.
Free Wheelchair Mission
15279 Alton Parkway, Suite 300,
Irvine, California, 92618
Free Wheelchair Mission wheelchairs cost $80, which covers the manufacture and shipping of wheelchairs from factory to port. Wheelchairs are then cleared through customs by distribution partners in their respective countries.The GEN_1 is a one-size wheelchair designed to give mobility to the greatest range of users possible. The GEN_1 is geared for people who are large enough to fit in it and only need to commute a short distance.The GEN_2 chair is designed for users who have a longer commute, users who need more support due to their disability, and users requiring a smaller fit. GEN_2 is customizable, available in four different widths, and has multiple adjustment points.The GEN_3 is functionally the same as GEN_2 but can be folded up for storage or easier transportation.Since 2001, Free Wheelchair Mission has distributed over one million wheelchairs in 93 countries.
DISTRIBUTION PARTNER TRAINING PROGRAM
In order to increase the effectiveness, utilization, sustainability, and safety of the products that we provide, Free Wheelchair Mission offers in-person training, remote trainings, and a combination of the two for wheelchair distribution partners around the world. This training includes interactive activities, practical application, and classroom-style discussion-based activities; all developed in partnership with occupational therapists, physical therapists, and education professionals.More than 600 people have participated in this training program since 2012, helping our distribution partners develop efficient, high-quality processes. In the future, we will expand the program with quarterly video and pictorial training sessions for continuing education and updates about product design changes.
RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT TEST TRACK
With funding committed in 2016, Free Wheelchair Mission is in the process of installing a whole-wheelchair test lab at our headquarters in Irvine, CA. The test lab will propel wheelchairs over repeated obstacles while continuously monitoring stress, strain, accelerations, and temperature rise due to friction. The obstacles will simulate the same types of obstacles that wheelchair users commonly encounter in developing-world conditions. Until now, Free Wheelchair Mission has been able to evaluate its wheelchair designs only by field-testing samples and monitoring the results. This process is expensive, takes a year or longer, and the data received is often ambiguous. The new test lab will compress a full year of field testing into a few hundred hours of lab testing, which will greatly accelerate the product improvement program by providing reproducible data. As a member of the Board of Directors of the International Society of Wheelchair Providers (ISWP), Founder and President Don Schoendorfer will make the test lab services available to other ISWP members that produce wheelchairs for the developing world.
Wheelchairs are manufactured at the factory and shipped as boxed kits via ocean container.Individual wheelchair distribution is left up to FWM Distribution Partners (DPs), who handle everything following the shipping containers’ arrival at the destination port. Distribution Partners are required to sign an agreement that they will give wheelchairs to people most in need – those who don’t already have one and cannot afford one – at no charge to the recipient.FWM Distribution Partners must be nonprofits with experience in importing ocean containers. They must provide references from other groups for whom they have supplied humanitarian aid by ocean freight. Distribution Partners are not required to be faith-based; however, they must have a zero-tolerance policy for bribes and have no intention of selling the wheelchairs.
Free Wheelchair Mission is a humanitarian, faith-based, nonprofit organization that provides wheelchairs at no cost to people with disabilities living in developing nations. In collaboration with a network of like-minded partners, Free Wheelchair Mission has provided more than one million wheelchairs to those in need in developing nations since 2001, providing dignity, independence, and hope through the gift of mobility.