Rollabilty Standards and Vibration Exposure

This study is trying to develop a limit and standard for roughness of accessible pathways. Rough pathways can cause harmful vibrations and discomfort to wheelchair use as they travel over them. We have had subjects travel over simulated wooden surfaces and sidewalks in the community with different roughnesses. Vibrations at the chairs seat, footplates and backrest are recorded while the subjects travel over the surfaces and the subjects fill out a questionnaire rating the surface once they are done.

There is currently no device on the market capable of accurately measuring sidewalk roughness. However, we are also developing a Pathway Measurement Tool (PathMeT) to be able to accurately measure surfaces in the community to evaluate how well they would meet the standard. Currently, we are finishing up the subject testing and submitting the standard to ASTM International for review. We have constructed a prototype of PathMeT and are evaluating its accuracy and reliability.