Wheelchair Distributions

Interested in running your own distribution?
Send us a message on our contact page and take a look at the "Wheelchair Distribution Procedures" on our resources page.

Upcoming Distributions

How Do Wheelchair Distributions Work?

Pre-Distribution: In-Country

  • Once in-country give the team time to adjust to time-changes and culture shock

  • Meet with in-country partners and thank them for all their hard work (give gift or token of gratitude when appropriate)

  • Unload the shipping container, assemble all mobility devices, and match foot-rests and accessories to each wheelchair

  • Organize the inventory by the day of the distribution or by distribution site and prepare the load for transport is necessary

  • If possible match and label each assigned mobility devices to a recipient determined by using the measuring worksheet (if pre-determined)

  • Organize ROC team into a meeting before the distribution takes place and discus the roles that each individual will perform- whenever possible empower others to take on a leadership role and support them as needed

  • Explain the challenges that will be faced especially preparing them for challenges that will present themselves

  • Discus health concerns and proper procedures when serving recipients with potentially contagious illnesses

  • Detail a course of action to be taken by every team member if they are cut or injured

  • Field questions and concerns from the team and address the need to have the proper state of mind and remain calm in the face of stress and adversity

  • Discus interpersonal challenges that may develop and how to deal with them- open dialogue is very important before smaller issues fester and become worse

  • Visit the distribution site and layout the flow for the distribution. Identify the entry, custom fitting stations, and exit point

  • Work with the team on a simulated fitting (including translators and physical therapists)

  • Begin with the waiting area proceeding to the entry point (finding their measuring worksheet)

  • Direct the recipient and caregiver to a custom fitting station and introduce all parties

  • Custom fitting team briefly assesses the recipient and compares with the measuring worksheet to determine the necessary mobility device

  • Once the mobility device has been determined bring the device to the fitting station and begin the custom fitting *see custom fitting section*

  • Work with the physical therapist to determine the necessary adjustments and customizations to the mobility device to best serve the recipient. During this process communicate with the recipient (if possible) and caregiver to educate them on the features of the wheelchairs, medical concerns, and adjustments that can be made over time and the recipients grows.

  • Finish the custom fitting and have a physical therapist give their approval

  • Help the recipient and caregiver to the exit station and introduce all parties

  • The exit station will take the measuring worksheet and assign a code to the measuring worksheet that matches the exit photo

  • Record the code, name, and location on the “photo board” and help arrange the recipient and caregivers for a picture (note the direction of light and backdrop)

  • Take several pictures not just of the “adopt-a-chair” style picture, but close ups and try to capture the emotion of the moment

  • Work with the fitting station teams to determine if they have adequate tools, fasteners, webbing, and foam

  • If sufficient time loosen all the adjustable features on the wheelchairs to reduce fitting times during the distribution

  • Ask for further questions from the team

Distribution Day:

  • Most countries the wheelchair recipients and their families will arrive well before the team does so everyone should be ready to work upon arrival

  • Work with a translator to speak to all the recipients and thank them for coming and being gracious as they wait for their wheelchair

  • Explain the distribution to everyone and what they should expect during the distribution:

  • Flow throughout the process

  • Time involved with custom fittings and how this may affect their wait time

  • To be attentive and learn as much as they can during the fitting- ask questions

  • Hand out the measuring worksheets to the caregiver or recipient Begin the distribution

Finishing the Distribution:

  • Opportunity to throw a celebration dinner, luncheon, or party for partners and team

  • Be sure that partners have had sufficient training and tools to follow up with recipients

  • Leave sufficient measuring worksheets so partners can continue to document children in need of wheelchairs for the return trip