LeTourneau University WHEELS Project

LETU Wheels: Enabling disabled children in low-income countries
around the world to have more functional wheelchairs.
It doesn’t do much good to give a disabled child a wheelchair if it doesn’t work well for them. In order to provide effective wheelchairs to disabled children in low income countries, it’s essential to find out which chairs work best in that setting. Enter, LETU’s Wheels team — LeTourneau biology and kinesiology students doing research on wheelchair function for children with disabilities in low income settings. Dr. Joy Wee, a physiatrist who teaches at Queen’s University, is collaborating with the LeTourneau team on this study.

This is a Global Service Learning Project in which students are able to do hands-on research and see their research making a big difference in the lives of specific children with disabilities. The research and intercultural experience makes a positive impact in many of the students’ lives. You can read some of their comments here and research on the benefits of this experience here (and to GSL research paper).

The research is also making a difference on a global scale. We're partnering with Bethany Kids Relief and Rehabilitation Internationalin Kenya. We’re privileged to work with and give feedback to some of the key providers of wheelchairs around the world, including Motivation, Whirlwind, (APDK), Hope Haven International, Free Wheelchair Missions and Joni and Friends.

Wheels is also working with US therapists who travel with us, and spend time working with and training the young Kenyan PT and OT working for by Bethany Kids in Joytown, Kenya. In the process of this study, the Wheels team will do what we can to facilitate additional training for these wonderful therapists.

The Wheels project has a large focus on wheelchair research and a smaller research project developing a lower limb function questionnaire.

The study protocol has been approved by LeTourneau University, Queens University and Bethany Kids Relief and Rehabilitation International, and all appropriate approvals have been obtained including subject consent forms and media consent forms. Letters of approval have been obtained from the Kenyan Ministry of Health.

To learn more about Wheels, contact:

Karen Rispin

 Associate Professor of Biology,
Faculty Advisor for Wheels Project
& Advisor for Pre-Health Tracks

E-mail: KarenRispin@letu.edu
Office: Glaske O-144
Phone: 903-233-3352

Support Wheels

  The Wheels project is a low budget enterprise funded largely by donations. With your help we can make a difference to children in wheelchairs at Joy Town and around the world.

  Donate online (select Wheels from the designation dropdown menu.)
Or, write a check to LeTourneau University, designating the Wheels project on the memo line, and mail it to:
LeTourneau University
P.O. Box 7333
Longview, TX 75607