from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The wheelchair (short wheelchair or lift , as in the language of the resource directory of health insurance invalid chairs ) is a tool for people who due to a physical disability in the ability to walk is impaired. The wheelchair enables these people to be mobile ; it is not a therapy device. There are 1.56 million wheelchair users in Germany.


The development from the Middle Ages to the present

In 1595, King Philip II of Spain apparently had a roller chair with an adjustable backrest and footrest. The paralyzed watchmaker Stephan Farfler designed a self-propelled wheelchair in 1655. The first patent for a wheelchair was granted in 1869 in the USA .

Starting from the first simple models, a variety of wheelchair types has developed, which are differentiated according to both disability characteristics and purposes. Numerous features of the construction of the frame, the seat unit and the equipment have differentiated.

Wheelchairs as a luxury offer

At the Vienna World Exhibition in 1873 , wheelchairs were available as a luxury option. This service was not primarily an offer for the physically handicapped, but for well-heeled exhibition visitors, for whom the tiring tour of the exhibition was to be made more pleasant. Especially sophisticated women, whose freedom of movement was restricted by dresses with long trains, made use of the service of being pushed through the exhibition with sliding armchairs by liveried servants .

Wheelchair types

Differentiation according to frame type

Folding driver
have a frame in a foldable design. The basic construction of the seat and backrest is made of flexible fabric or a removable seat plate, and the frame has a foldable horizontal or vertical cross brace. The standing cross brace of the classic folding driver causes a certain damping on uneven ground conditions. However, due to the flexible bracing, a lot of power is lost when driving. It is significantly heavier than a rigid frame. For many adult wheelchair users, a folded model is easier to load into the car; Loading aids are often only available for folding drivers. This is why some adult wheelchair users accept the poor handling characteristics.
Rigid frame chairs
have a non-foldable seat frame and an undivided and non-removable footrest. Normally, the backrest can be folded down for transport and the drive wheels can be removed via the quick-release axle. The rigid frame is significantly lighter and offers optimized power transmission.

Differentiation according to the type of drive

DESINO hand lever wheelchair with dynamic seat, Cologne 2015
Push wheel wheelchair
Push rim wheelchairs, which are used for independent movement with hand drive using hand rims , are widespread.
One-handed wheelchair
One-handed wheelchairs are suitable for one-handed driving. There are usually double hand rims on one side of the wheelchair. This means that the wheels can be driven separately and independently by a special wheel axle.
Hand lever wheelchair
Hand lever wheelchairs, which are intended for self-driving using hand levers and lever gears , are less common in active wheelchairs. There are newer development tendencies.
Power wheelchair
  • Electric wheelchairs, colloquially known as e-wheelchairs, have an electric motor drive .
  • Before the electric wheelchair that is common today, there were models that were powered by a small two-stroke internal combustion engine , usually a moped . The wheelchair was usually used by the user with his legs outstretched and had a single steerable wheel at the front.
Push wheelchair
Push wheelchairs are suitable for pushing a passive person using the push handles on the backrest.
Triple wheelchair
Tripple wheelchairs are used for independent movement with the feet by means of "tripping". These wheelchairs correspond in shape to a push rim wheelchair with the footrest removed.

Differentiation according to health insurance / regulation text

Wheelchair in a rehabilitation facility with preparation for a hemiplegic
A tennis wheelchair. The heavy fall, the anti-tip device and the safety belt are clearly visible
An aged shower wheelchair in a public swimming pool

For the provision of a wheelchair in Germany, the medical prescription text is relevant for the benefits of the health insurance companies. A distinction is made between the following wheelchair types:

Standard wheelchair
This type of wheelchair only offers elementary framework and equipment features that represent a basic supply for non-permanent use. As a self-propelled wheelchair (with 24-inch drive wheels) it is very heavy (around 20 kg), and its individual adjustment is only possible to a limited extent. The independent movement by means of the arms can be described as rather exhausting due to the design. More specific needs e.g. B. for more freedom of movement, lightness and seating comfort are covered by additional or exchangeable accessories. This is why a standard wheelchair is often used as a transport and push wheelchair in clinics and facilities or as a short-term aid for temporary, restricted mobility (e.g. after leg fractures , condition after operations). They are rather cheap in terms of cost.
Lightweight wheelchair
It differs from the standard wheelchair in that the frame material is slightly lighter (around 13-17 kg). In addition, due to the setting and equipment options, it offers somewhat more individual adjustment (the most important feature is the adjustability of the seat height). Independent locomotion is only possible with great effort; in this respect this term is slightly misleading. Lightweight wheelchairs are often used in the rehabilitation of people with a stroke (e.g. used as a “triple wheelchair”) or in the early stages of multiple sclerosis . This type of wheelchair is more expensive than a standard wheelchair.
Multifunction, care, positioning or storage wheelchairs
As an option, they sometimes have different seat and back upholstery units and usually have a seat tilt and back angle adjustment using a gas pressure spring. This enables the user to be positioned from an upright to a semi-recumbent sitting position while sitting in the wheelchair. These wheelchairs mostly belong to the category of push wheelchairs, as the independent drive from the wheelchair itself is extremely difficult or not possible at all due to the design. They are used by wheelchair users with severely multiple disabilities and are intended to facilitate care or enable "mobile" storage. Due to the many components and adjustment options, the total weight of these chairs is quite high.
Adaptive wheelchairs or active wheelchairs
They are characterized by individual adaptation in terms of dimensions and equipment to the respective user. The adjustment to the respective anthropometric conditions of the user is usually done in cm steps. The wheelchair should always be adjusted by an experienced medical device advisor during a consultation. A prior testing phase is usually advisable. In addition to design and optics, it is the subsequent usability that determines the model and its equipment features. The rolling resistance and weight of an active chair are minimized in such a way that independent movement is particularly easy. This is intended to ensure the most independent way of life possible with the aid, despite the disability. The weight of these wheelchair models varies between 5 and about 10 kilograms for the newer models. However, this manufacturer's information mostly refers to the loading weight of the wheelchair without drive wheels and with separate equipment. The frame material is usually made of aluminum alloy, much more expensive variants are made of titanium or carbon in a permanently welded design. Active wheelchairs can cost between 2000 and 7000 euros (as of 2013).

Differentiation according to special uses

Sports wheelchairs
are adapted to the respective requirements of disabled sports, for wheelchair tennis , wheelchair basketball , wheelchair rugby or cross country. Depending on the type of sport, protective or ram bars are attached to the frame. A pronounced camber makes the chair more maneuverable and stable in curves or when changing direction quickly. Unnecessary components disappear. It is not uncommon for the frame to be individually manufactured as a rigid frame and completely “screwless”, welded in one piece.
Racing wheelchairs
are also part of the sports wheelchairs and are optimized for high speeds, the low seat and backrest are usually reduced to what is absolutely necessary, the frame is rigid and cannot be folded for greater stability. The paired wheels have a strong camber and comparatively small push rims for better power conversion, instead of a front pair of rollers only a single steerable wheel is attached to the front for better tracking.
Shower wheelchairs
are specially designed for use in body care in wet rooms. They are made of moisture-resistant and easily disinfectable materials and usually have a hygiene opening in the seat.
Beach wheelchairs
are also made of materials that are as insensitive as possible to moisture, salt water and sand. They have very wide balloon tires so that the chair can move on soft ground and are therefore usually not suitable for propulsion via push rims. Some beach wheelchairs are built very flat, for example in the style of deckchairs, so that the user can be driven into the water and get off the chair there.

Child wheelchair supply

Extremely small and light children's wheelchair

A children's wheelchair is not just a scaled-down adult wheelchair, but differs in terms of requirements and consequently in terms of design and equipment. Wheelchair care can be started very early, so that the child with disabilities can discover and experience their environment and thus develop optimally cognitively. Children as early as one to two years old can learn to use a wheelchair. This does not - as feared - mean that they would become lazy or that they would not be able to or would not learn to walk later with the appropriate opportunities.


So far, from a cultural and social science perspective, there seems to be no research perspective on the wheelchair aid and its social and socio-cultural function. Historical dates are also rare. There is also little research into this tool for users, and technical innovations have resulted primarily from user activities. Since 2005 there has been an initiative by the Mechanical Engineering and Care and Health departments at the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences, which, together with cooperation partners, including the German Wheelchair Sports Association, deals with the technical analysis of manual wheelchairs and the requirements of wheelchair users. The first specialist conference on the topic took place in 2010. With this research project, the poor quality of many wheelchairs was determined, especially since they additionally hinder the users in everyday life. The rolling resistance and driving characteristics are often not optimal, the demands on the user are too high: wheelchair users have to provide between 10 and 450 watts (210 W on average) to move  around, while a cyclist provides 130 watts over a period of two hours.

Technical details of wheelchair supply

Active wheelchairs


In wheelchairs for active driving, it is extremely important that they can be easily adjusted to the optimal gripping point. For this, the wheelbase and the seat unit must be variable to each other in order to achieve the longest possible reach that starts slightly behind the body and extends as far forward as possible without straining the shoulders and having to move forward out of the wheelchair. This special setting is not possible with lightweight or standard wheelchairs, which is why they are comparatively more difficult to drive using the push rims. The seat height must also be optimized, with hanging arms the elbow should be just above the drive wheel. A slight (negative) wheel camber improves the maneuverability of the wheelchair, gives lateral stability and brings the wheels even closer to the user, which makes it easier to “actively” drive yourself. The central element of the wheelchair adjustment is the pivot and tipping point: The axle mount of the rear wheels should be as close as possible to the body's center of gravity, which is slightly in front of the hip joints when sitting in the wheelchair. The wheelchair can thus be turned and tilted easily, which makes it easier to overcome obstacles (edges / steps). The wheelchair must be adjusted so that it can be easily tipped over, but does not tip over every time it starts. Safe locomotion in a wobbly wheelchair can be learned quickly and easily. For inexperienced users, the anti-tip / support wheels can prevent tipping over backwards. “The support wheels should be set in such a way that balancing on the rear wheels is possible, but tipping over is prevented. This is often not possible with the usual cranked support wheels because they cannot be positioned high enough. "

Equipment and accessories

There are many different accessories for wheelchairs, but only parts that are actually needed should be attached in order not to increase the weight unnecessarily.

  • In the case of the footboard , a distinction must be made between a continuous and a split, as well as between foldable, pivotable and removable footboards. The footrest should be height and angle adjustable to ensure optimal leg guidance.
  • Side parts, armrests and clothes guards limit the seat area to the side; if the seat width is favorable, they provide guidance and support for the pelvis and thighs. They should be functional and not hinder active movement, which is usually the case with armrests.
  • The drive wheels should be in relation to the frame size, common sizes are 20, 22, 24 and 26 inches, there are tires in different designs.
  • The spoke protector prevents finger trapping and damage to the spokes. Today, however, it is not only functional, but for many users an expression of individual style and design awareness.
  • The front wheels are available as pneumatic tires, solid rubber versions between 4 and 8 inches, soft rollers with 5 to 6 inches, plastic wheels 4 to 5 inches and skater rollers 2 to 4 inches, also in a flashing version
  • There are suspensions for the front and rear wheels, but they affect the power conversion
  • Headrests are usually not necessary for the active user and severely limit the range of motion. However, they are useful for some forms of disability when relief of the head and neck is necessary, e.g. B. with muscle wasting. Headrests do not increase road safety and are not designed for this!
  • Brakes should be easy to use and not get in the way when getting in, out or transferring. There are, for example, toggle brakes, drum brakes and hub brakes.
  • Orthopedic and therapeutic aids can be attached if necessary.

Seat unit

Twenty years ago, wheelchairs were no more comfortable to sit than a camping stool, which in the long term leads to pressure ulcer and back problems. Today there are various seat units and back systems that can be integrated into the wheelchair, but they should not influence the optimal sitting position. Like a desk chair, seating systems should provide good support for active sitting and ensure favorable pressure distribution. The seat unit is an important basis for movement in the wheelchair and thus for locomotion; it should not restrict arm and shoulder freedom and offer the possibility of relief. The backrest should reach no more than the lower edge of the shoulder blade. It must be taken into account that no one with or without a disability can sit up straight all day, which is also not to be expected from wheelchair users.

Electric wheelchairs

Electric wheelchair
Otto Bock “SuperFour”, outdoor hybrid wheelchair with all-wheel drive

Electrically powered wheelchairs are prescribed to users who, in addition to the general need for a wheelchair, have a severe deficit of arm strength and arm / hand mobility or a generally weakened constitution, or who help the power wheelchair to a required, increased mobility , because they e.g. B. are single and have no one to push.

There are types with an electric motor that drives the large wheels directly, and normal folding wheelchairs, the large wheels of which are replaced by those with a wheel hub motor (similar to a pedelec drive ). As with bicycles, there are those that only support the manual drive and those that drive purely electrically.

In both types the energy comes from an accumulator ; the direction and speed are usually controlled with a joystick control. Structural groups arise partly from the requirements of German road traffic law, e.g. B. according to the maximum speed (see below).

Technically and with regard to the concept of aids , electric wheelchairs are differentiated from electric vehicles, which are less individually adaptable to disabilities than "e-wheelchairs", but the boundaries are often fluid. Electric wheelchairs allow sedentary activities that require, for example, the frontal approach and use of tables, while electric vehicles are primarily intended for outside use, the steering and front wheel of which are often centered in front of the user.

By using lithium-ion batteries instead of conventional lead-acid batteries , you can significantly reduce the total weight of the wheelchairs, and portable, foldable electric wheelchairs are realized.

A special case of an electric wheelchair is a "stair wheelchair" or " stair climber ". The wheelchairs identified with it have an electrically operated drive mechanism for climbing stairs .

Air travel with electric wheelchairs can be problematic, as some airlines refuse to take acid batteries on board to ensure flight safety . For example, other airlines require that the batteries be removed from the wheelchair and transported in special airline boxes. Some airlines only transport electric wheelchairs with leak-proof wet batteries. If acid batteries are not allowed on board, the wheelchair must be converted to the much more expensive dry batteries before the flight . Certain safety regulations also apply to dry cell batteries. For example, the cable connections must be disconnected from the batteries and the battery poles isolated. Before traveling by air, it is useful to request a certificate that the battery is suitable for air transport from the wheelchair manufacturer.


There are various passive and active transfer methods for transferring a patient into a wheelchair. One example is the transverse bed seat , which makes the process much easier.


The European standard EN ISO 9999 (2003) "Technical aids for disabled people - classification and terminology" classifies wheelchairs in group 12–21 with eleven subgroups.

Further standards:

  • DIN 13240-1 wheelchairs; Classification issue 12/1983
  • DIN 13240-2 wheelchairs; Terms 12/1983
  • DIN 13240-3 wheelchairs; Dimensions 08/1994
  • DIN EN 12183 Muscle-powered wheelchairs - Requirements and test methods
  • DIN EN 12184 Electric wheelchairs and mobiles and associated chargers - Requirements and test methods
  • DIN ISO 6440 wheelchairs; Designations, terms 1985
  • DIN ISO 7176-1 wheelchairs; determination
  • DIN ISO 7193 wheelchairs - maximum overall dimensions

Product directories

In the Rehadat directory of technical aids, over 400 individual models of wheelchairs available in medical supply stores are listed in product group 12–21.

The aids directory of the German statutory health insurance classifies wheelchairs in area 18 - " ambulances " with the four differentiation areas "interior", "interior and road traffic", "road traffic" and "stairs" with further subdivisions.

Compulsory benefits of the statutory health insurance (GKV)

Legal claim

Wheelchairs are aids i. See Section 33 Book Five of the Social Security Code .

In order for the costs for the wheelchair to be covered by the health insurance , a medical certificate with precise details and medical reasons is required.

For the duration of the medical necessity, the health insurance provides the insured person with a wheelchair to be re-used from the pool of medical aids or flat-rate aids as a benefit in kind . The insured person is not entitled to have a new wheelchair delivered. If the insured person wishes equipment that is not medically necessary, he must bear the costs himself. The property of the wheelchair remains with the health insurance company or, in the case of a flat-rate wheelchair , with the contract partner of the health insurance company.

The statutory co-payment for the insured person is 10 percent of the contract price for the wheelchair, a minimum of 5 euros and a maximum of 10 euros, unless the insured person is exempt from the additional payment.

Proper use, storage and general maintenance and care are the responsibility of the insured when the ambulance is provided. The necessary repairs are covered by the health insurance.

Individual health insurance companies and contractual partner companies have agreed a flat-rate contract for the provision of wheelchairs . A particular member is rented a wheelchair suitable for him for a defined period of time - at least two years, maximum five years - for a maximum of the duration of the medical necessity - by the contract partner's health insurance. This flat rate case includes all special maintenance, normal wear repairs including all necessary spare parts prescribed by the manufacturer or MPG for the entire contract period. This does not apply to repairs that can be traced back to improper or improper use, insufficient care or damage due to inadequate storage or transfer of the wheelchair to third parties. In these cases, the insured person must bear the costs incurred.

Manual wheelchairs

The normal care for insured persons of the GKV takes place with a non-motorized standard wheelchair / push rim wheelchair. The supply takes place in one copy. In cases where a second wheelchair (one for the outside and one for the inside) is required, a double supply is possible.

Electric wheelchairs

If the relevant requirements are met, the health insurances provide their insured persons with electric wheelchairs at a speed of 6 km / h. Are electro-medical vehicles with more than 6 km / h no aid within the meaning of SGB V . If the insured person wishes to receive such care that goes beyond the health insurance's obligation to provide benefits (e.g. at a maximum speed of 10 km / h), he has the option of using this if he bears the additional costs.

"Electricity costs" incurred for the use of an electric wheelchair provided by the health insurance company are covered by the health insurance companies' obligation to provide benefits (according to the Federal Social Court in its decision Az. 3 RK 12/96 of February 6, 1997) and are paid for by the health insurance company reimbursed to the actual consumption. The use of an electric wheelchair can be determined from the mileage. Depending on the actual uses and the electrical performance of the power-consuming aid, z. B. the KKH 0.18 euros per kWh . Many health insurances cover the energy costs at the option of the insured person in the form of a flat rate (e.g. at the DAK 2.50 euros, at the AOK 5.11 euros per month).

Wheelchair supply in homes

According to Section 33, Paragraph 1 of Book V of the Social Code, the insured are entitled to aids. Health insurance companies are generally obliged to provide care regardless of whether the insured person lives in their own apartment or in a home. However, this principle experiences a restriction in the " insured event " of full inpatient need for care , i.e. in full inpatient care in a nursing home ( Section 71 (2) SGB XI) or in a fully inpatient facility for the disabled ( Section 43a SGB ​​XI). According to SGB ​​V and Book 11 of the Social Security Code , the obligation of the statutory health insurance to provide the insured with medical aids ends where, in the case of full inpatient care, the duty of the home provider to provide the residents with medical aids begins. The associated costs are covered by the care rate. The obligation to provide is limited to the area within the home and the home premises.

Individual jurisprudence cases

The health insurance's obligation to provide benefits is not excluded because the insured person belongs to the group of people in need of care according to Sections 14, 15 of the Social Code Book XI (e.g. extreme care needs according to care level III) and the wheelchair also serves to facilitate their care. (BSG judgment of February 10, 2000, B 3 KR 28 / 99R)

A claim against the health insurance company for care with a wheelchair prescribed by a doctor as an aid always exists if the person concerned needs the wheelchair for activities outside the home (in particular walks; satisfaction of a general basic need - mobility and social contact to avoid loneliness, trips with Relatives, etc.). (see BSG, judgment of February 10, 2000, Az .: B3 KR 26/99 R)

Insofar as a resident is dependent on a wheelchair but no longer leaves the home, he still has a claim against his own health insurance if he can determine his own routes and whereabouts at least within the home. Statutory health insurance only has to make available aids that are not part of the “sphere” of full inpatient care. These are essentially:

  1. individually adapted aids, which by their nature are only intended for the individual insured and can only be used by him (e.g. glasses, hearing aids, other prostheses);
  2. Aids that are used to satisfy a general basic need (e.g. communication or mobility) outside the nursing home.

That is not yet the case if it is just about taking a walk in the fresh air on the home premises. The sphere of the home has not yet been abandoned if the home residents go on excursions together or other activities outside the home organized or for which the home management is responsible (e.g. strolling around town). Regular activities of the person in need of care outside the home (excursions, walks, visits to cafés, restaurants, theater, cinema, etc.), alone or in the company of relatives, friends and acquaintances, independently of the care staff, can no longer be part of the home and his own Area of ​​responsibility. A declaration by the relatives that the patient is regularly picked up several times a week outside the home for walks (e.g. visits to the cemetery, etc.) usually triggers the health insurance company to provide benefits. The home provider is only responsible for the provision of the usual aids within the nursing home and the home. (see judgment of the BSG of February 20, 2000, B 3 KR 28/99 R)

The Federal Social Court in its judgment (BSG of 22 July 2004, B 3 KR 5/03 R, et al in NZS 2005 533rd.) This again concretized:
The delimitation of the obligation of public health insurance in the Aids care in nursing homes from the The home carrier's obligation to reserve must be based on whether there is still medical treatment and disability compensation in the sense of medical rehabilitation (consequence: performance obligation of the statutory health insurance) or whether care is predominantly in the foreground, because self-determination and equal participation in life in society are not in the foreground more is possible (consequence: obligation of the home provider to reserve the right). The specific circumstances of the individual case must be used. Accordingly, items of home equipment (including wheelchairs, under certain circumstances) are also included in which a certain degree of disability compensation can still be recognized, but where care is predominantly in the foreground because self-determination and participation in life in society is no longer possible and rehabilitation no longer takes place.
The decisive factor is whether the person concerned is still able to make a responsible determination about his or her own fate or not, or whether he has not just become an “object of care” due to the lack of this ability. For the individual case, it is important whether the person concerned can still actively determine his whereabouts and whether he is able to independently and consciously shape community life in the home.
In the case decided by the BSG, the plaintiff there in need of the most severe care (= care level III) was still able to perceive impressions herself, to laugh and to respond to speeches. However, this passive reaction was not enough to trigger the health insurance company's obligation to provide benefits.

In the case of facilities for the disabled, residents are only to be provided with a wheelchair at the expense of the health insurance company if it is needed to be able to go for walks outside the home or if, according to the agreements made by the social welfare agency, the provider of the facility for the disabled is not obliged to use it inside the home to provide the wheelchairs required to care for those unable to walk. In view of the diversity of facilities for the disabled, such a retention obligation cannot generally be affirmed as it is for inpatient care facilities. (BSG judgment of February 10, 2000, B 3 KR 17/99 R)

Current legal situation

The legislature did not consider this case law to be appropriate and, as part of the 2006 health reform ( GKV Competition Strengthening Act ), adapted the medical aids directive to Section 33 SGB V: "The ambulances required for normal operation (use by several residents for pure transport / transfer purposes) or that are used to carry out basic care (e.g. measures to support excretion and personal hygiene) are part of the equipment of a care home. Wheelchairs that enable active or passive participation in community life are subject to statutory health insurance benefits if they are used exclusively by an insured person. When assessing the performance responsibility, it does not matter whether the wheelchair is used inside or outside the inpatient facility. ”As a result, since April 1, 2007, every resident of a nursing home has a right to a wheelchair from his health insurance company, provided that this is used exclusively by him.

Road traffic law

Electromobile or e-scooter with 700 watt electric motor and 55 km range (15 km / h version)

For the equipping and approval of wheelchairs, the rules of road traffic law: Driving license regulation (FeV), road traffic regulation (StVO), vehicle approval regulation (FZV) and road traffic approval regulation ( StVZO ) special provisions.

Admission process

According to § 1 FZV, elevators up to 6 km / h are generally not permitted; Push and reach wheelchairs are not vehicles in the sense of the regulation, neither the FZV nor the StVO. The vehicle registration regulation defines electric wheelchairs or motorized wheelchairs as:

"Single-seated motor vehicles designed for use by physically handicapped people with electric drive, an empty weight of no more than 300 kg including batteries but without a driver, a permissible total weight of no more than 500 kg, a design-related maximum speed of no more than 15 km / h and a maximum width of 110 cm. "

- § 2 sentence 13 Vehicle Registration Ordinance. : § 2 FZV

According to § 3 FZV, motorized patient lifts are exempt from the approval procedure, but a type approval ( ABE ) or an individual permit as well as a valid insurance number are required for use in public road traffic.

Associated with the operating permit are the regulations regarding brakes ( Section 41 StVZO), lighting ( Section 50 StVZO), marker lights ( Section 51 StVZO), parking lights and warning signs ( Section 51c StVZO), horn ( Section 55 StVZO), etc.

The type of electromobile - in contrast to the electric wheelchair - is intended for the approval process. Electric vehicles are available in the same construction in different speed ranges (6-10-12-15 km / h), the maximum speed is set by means of a power limiter.

Road traffic regulations

According to Section 24 (2) of the Road Traffic Regulations, elevators may be used where pedestrian traffic is permitted, but only at walking pace . If the speed is higher than walking speed, the provisions of § 2 StVO (road use) apply .

Driving license law

Motorized wheelchairs up to a maximum design speed of 15 km / h may be driven without a driver's license. If the design-related maximum speed is over 15 km / h, the hospital elevator is a four-wheeled light vehicle according to EC vehicle class L6e and requires a driving license (class AM).

Compulsory insurance

Year indicator

According to the law on compulsory insurance for motor vehicle owners, the owner of a motor vehicle is obliged to take out liability insurance that covers personal injury, property damage or financial loss if the design-related maximum speed exceeds 6 km / h . The insurance number is valid for one year, starting on March 1st and ending in February of the following year. (Differentiated by year printing and color)

Standard electric wheelchairs with a maximum speed of max. 6 km / h (the costs of which are covered and made available by the health insurance companies) are exempt from compulsory insurance. Nevertheless, it is advisable to take out insurance if damage to other vehicles is caused when using the wheelchair. Wheelchairs that are not subject to compulsory insurance can, for example, be included in personal liability insurance ; this must be reported to the insurer. However, the costs of personal liability insurance are not covered by the health insurance company.

If a wheelchair that is subject to compulsory insurance (over 6 km / h bbH) has been approved by the health insurance company for medical or special traffic-related reasons, the health insurance company must insure the vehicle and bear the costs for it, because the provision of aids includes that it is is provided in working order, and this includes compulsory insurance. (See Federal Social Court of September 14, 1994, AZ: 3/1 RK 56/93)

Taking along on public transport

Directive 2001/85 / EC (PDF) provides for the "transport of people with reduced mobility, including wheelchair users" , in "vehicles for the transport of people with more than eight seats" ( omnibus ). The transportation of "one or more wheelchairs" is to be made possible by variable seating capacities. The total mass (wheelchair and wheelchair user) is calculated at 250 kg. According to an expert opinion by the VDV on the safety of taking along in public transport, some companies have been banning electric vehicles from being taken on buses and trams for safety reasons (risk of tipping and slipping when braking heavily or cornering) since autumn 2014 . Rollators and wheelchairs are not affected . According to § 145 SGB ​​IX , people with a severely disabled person's ID (symbol “G” ) are entitled to free transport under certain conditions .

A detailed description can be found here:

Other, trivia

Roosevelt (US President 1933-1945)

The French revolutionary Georges Couthon (1755–1794), who was paralyzed from the waist down, had a wheelchair built that he could move using two cranks with vertical axes attached to the left and right of the armrests. The wheelchair is on display in the Musée Carnavalet .

Franklin D. Roosevelt , US President from 1933 until his death in 1945, had been dependent on a wheelchair since he fell ill with polio in 1921. This was well known to the public; Nevertheless, Roosevelt avoided being photographed or filmed in a wheelchair.

Another prominent wheelchair user is CDU politician Wolfgang Schäuble after an attack in October 1990.

The Unicode block Various symbols contains the character wheelchair (WHEELCHAIR SYMBOL, ( )) as a symbol for physical disability .

See also


  • Susanne Bröxkes, Ute Herzog (Ed.): Wheelchair care for children, adolescents and adults . 2nd and completely revised edition. German Wheelchair Sports Association , DRS - mobile with wheelchairs (Volume 1). Self-published by DRS eV, Cologne / Hennef 2004.

Web links

Wiktionary: Wheelchair  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Wheelchairs  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files


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  2. Disability and the Medical Establishment timeline. 1869. Museum of disABILITY History, archived from the original on August 20, 2008 ; accessed on October 22, 2010 (English).
  3. Johann Werfring: Chic butts in the Viennese Rotunda In: “Wiener Zeitung” of August 21, 2014, supplement “ProgrammPunkte”, p. 7.
  4. Fabian Dirla, Stephan Frantzen, Jens Naumann: Wheelchair care for children, adolescents and adults: A guide with legal aspects, experience reports and many tips about wheelchairs . Ed .: Susanne Bröxkes, Ute Herzog Ute. 2nd Edition. German Wheelchair Sports Association, 2004, ISBN 978-3-9809245-0-4 , p. 22 .
  5. Dyson Award for innovative inventions
  6. Historic motorized wheelchairs and elevators, with photos. Accessed July 24, 2016.
  7. Ute Herzog: My wheelchair - my mobility. In: Stuhl-Fahren-Lernen.de. Working group Spina bifida and Hydrocephalus Bundesverband eV, accessed on October 22, 2010 .
  8. Bernhard Wendel: "Early Childhood Wheelchair Care Mobility and Inclusion in Early Childhood"
  9. Conference on optimal wheelchair care. (No longer available online.) FH Bielefeld , April 26, 2010, formerly in the original ; Retrieved October 22, 2010 .  ( Page no longer available , search in web archives )@1@ 2Template: Toter Link / www.fh-bielefeld.de
  10. ^ Frank-Rüdiger Bürgel: First research results: Many wheelchairs instead of help, additional disabilities. Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences , March 14, 2008, accessed on October 22, 2010 (press release).
  11. Ute Herzog: The wheelchair setting. In: Stuhl-Fahren-Lernen.de. Working group Spina bifida and Hydrocephalus Bundesverband eV, accessed on October 22, 2010 .
  12. Fabian Dirla, Stephan Frantzen, Jens Naumann: Wheelchair care for children, adolescents and adults: A guide with legal aspects, experience reports and many tips about wheelchairs . Ed .: Susanne Bröxkes, Ute Herzog Ute. 2nd Edition. German Wheelchair Sports Association, 2004, ISBN 978-3-9809245-0-4 , p. 59 ff .
  13. Sitting. (No longer available online.) In: Das KinderSanitätshaus. 4ma3ma, archived from the original on June 12, 2010 ; Retrieved October 22, 2010 . Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / cgi.4ma3ma.de
  14. See § 4 Paragraphs 1 and 2 FZV.
  15. A seat belt is mandatory for a maximum speed of over 25 km / h. See § 35a StVZO]. More powerful models already have pivot points for anchoring as standard.
  16. § 4 Paragraph 1 No. 2 FeV
  17. See § 6 Paragraph 1 FeV.
  18. See §§ 1 and 2 PflVG.
  19. See 2001/85 EG, Art. 3.
  20. See 2001/85 EG,
  21. E.g. the press release of the Bogestra
  22. Ch. Witte / M. Engelberg: Bus driver throws wheelchair drivers out , BILD report from December 5, 2014.
  23. bahn.de: Information
  24. Taking with you in public transport
  25. carnavalet.paris.fr (with photo)