Configurations of the User in the Trajectory of Wheelchairs in India: Learnings for the Socio-technical Design of Smart Assistive Devices
European Society for Socially Embedded Technologies (EUSSET)
Many features of a wheelchair affect users' actions in a manual wheelchair, determining the overall mobility performance. Based on an ethnographic study of wheelchair users in India, we develop a trajectory analysis centered on the wheelchair as an artefact and the stages in its lifecycle from design to use. This paper focuses on the decisions made and practices in the production and acquisition phases and the consequences further down the line for the end user. In particular, we focus on how different configurations of the user across production and acquisition can make it difficult for users to find a wheelchair well adapted to their situated needs once they bring the artefact into their home and daily routines.