SF State News {University Communications}

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PBS NewsHour features Whirlwind Wheelchair

February 23, 2010 -- Whirlwind Wheelchair's efforts to send tough, low-cost wheelchairs to Haiti were the subject of a special report on PBS NewsHour on Feb. 18.

"We're having, so far, 350 chairs made in Vietnam and Mexico, and all sent to Haiti to be distributed to people, both with spinal cord injuries and with amputations, usually dual amputations, who absolutely have to get mobility soon, before it's too late," said Ralf Hotchkiss, co-founder of Whirlwind, speaking with NewsHour Correspondent Spencer Michaels.

The piece featured demonstrations of the RoughRider, Whirlwind's flagship wheelchair model, designed exactly for the kind of devastation found on Haiti's streets, and also took a look inside Hotchkiss' engineering class where students can learn the basics of wheelchair design and construction. 

Click the photograph above to watch the 5-minute NewsHour segment (Download Adobe Flash Player)

A written transcript is available on the NewsHour Web site at: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/health/jan-june10/haiti1_02-18.htm

SF State's Whirlwind Wheelchair program has been designing top quality, low-cost chairs for developing countries for more than 20 years. For more information, or to make a donation toward wheelchair distribution in Haiti, visit www.wheelchairsforhaiti.org

-- Elaine Bible


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