Seating Update: Revised Wheelchair Seating Standards Get ANSI/RESNA Approval

The newly revised ANSI/RESNA Standard for Wheelchairs, Vol. 3, has been approved for publication.

In a news announcement, RESNA said the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has approved the revision and publication of the document, which was the result of five years of collaboration among wheelchair seating experts.

“This newly expanded volume not only includes improvements and clarifications, it also offers new test methods for characterizing wheelchair seating support surfaces,” RESNA said in the announcement.

The revised standards, said the Standards Committee on Wheelchair and Related Seating (WRS), “are created by the people who need them and use them, including clinicians, engineers, academics, manufacturers, regulators, and end users – ‘standards by us and for us.’”

The committee noted the standards’ “stakeholder-based approach,” which “ensures relevance and clarity, so that the standards can provide a common language and approach to seating, and be beneficial in differentiating between the scores of seating options available.”

The documents include the following sections:

• Section 1: Vocabulary, reference axis convention and measures for body postures and postural support surfaces.

• Section 2: Determination of physical and mechanical characteristics of seat cushions intended to manage tissue integrity.

• Section 3: Determination of static, impact and repetitive load strengths for postural support devices.

• Section 6: Determination of the changes in properties following simulated extended use of seat cushions.

• Section 12: Envelopment testing of seat cushions with dual semispherical indenter.

“As new standards are published by ISO (International Organization for Standardization), they are considered for inclusion in future volumes,” the committee said in the news announcement. Revisions are currently underway to integrate the ISO microclimate and flammability methods. If you are interested in joining these efforts, please lend your critical voice to this important work!”

The RESNA Standards Committee on WRS is chaired by Kara Kopplin. Evan Call is the Vice Chair, and Patricia Karg is the Secretary. The revised standards document can be purchased on the RESNA site ( For more information on the WRS standards committee, visit

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

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