Caitlin stands in bike shop with wheelchair, surrounded by shop equipment and some people
TechOWL staff member Caitlin explaining the features of a wheelchair in a bike shop in front of several participants.

TechOWL frequently receives calls from wheelchair users looking for service and repairs. Getting service on wheelchair and other mobility devises can be challenging, with owners often waiting months for a medical equipment manufacturer or a vendor to respond and complete repairs.

Many people, including some bicycle and wheelchairs experts, don’t know that bicycles and wheelchairs share many of the same parts. TechOWL, a part of the Institute on Disabilities, is now working with local bike repair shops to offer training on how to service mobility devices, such as manual wheelchairs. It’s a perfect solution to a real issue facing wheelchair users and their families.  

TechOWL offers periodic wheelchair repair workshops, providing bike mechanics with hands-on learning opportunities. In addition, they will provide a bike shop with a variety of resources, including a manual wheelchair maintenance guide, for posting on their website.

Finally, TechOWL will add any participating bike shop to their list of referrals to make it easier for a wheelchair user to find a service location near them.

Some bike shops have already been doing these repairs and TechOWL encourages those shops to advertise it! Adding this information to a shop’s website and social media will encourage new customers.  

WPVI-TV, Philadelphia’s ABC affiliate, ran a story about the wheelchair repair – bike shop partnership.