ISO Announces New Power Mobility Obstacle-Climbing Standard

How well a power chair or scooter can climb and navigate uneven terrains, door thresholds and changing pavement heights can determine how independent its owner can truly be. Now a new ISO standard seeks to measure how well and how safely power chairs and scooters can handle obstacles.

The new standard from the International Organization for Standardization is called "ISO 7176-10:2008, Wheelchairs - Part 10: Determination of Obstacle-Climbing of Electrically Powered Wheelchairs." ISO says the standard "specifies requirements for test equipment, outlines test procedures, and provides specifications for reporting test results."

Dev Banerjee, chair of the committee that developed the new standard, says, "The tests included in this standard will provide very useful information for both operators and prescribers of wheelchairs and will facilitate the comparison of products manufactured in different countries."

The standard specifies, ISO says, "test methods for determining the ability to climb and descend obstacles of electrically powered wheelchairs, including scooters, intended to carry one person, with a maximum nominal speed not exceeding 15 kilometers per hour (9.32 miles per hour)."

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