Wheelchair Brake Hack

Close up of a wheelchair brake kept in the open position with a white plastic zip tie.

Wheelchairs break, parts wear out, things go wrong. Disabled people have long had to deal with terribly long waits for repairs and disabled communities have worked around this by doing ad hoc wheelchair repair for their communities. Maintenance and repair are key because when your wheelchair is broken, you’re absolutely stuck. But what do you do when you need a repair? This photo documents how people must rig up ways to keep their wheelchair working. This wheelchair has a faulty brake lever. It doesn’t stay open, so the brake lever slowly pulls away from the frame, impeding the wheel like a brake is designed to do, but not when it was desired. So this person kept it permanently open and instead relied on just the one brake on the other side. To keep it permanently open, he used a zip-tie to secure it.

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