Mobility Device Information Survey

Thank you for helping me with this research!

My name is Mel White, and I am a PhD student in Information Science at the University of North Texas.
My contact email is:

For my dissertation, I’m studying advice – the advice that experienced wheelchair or scooter users would give to a new user. I’m interested in where the best advice comes from, what kind of advice is most needed, and the best way to find help when you need advice about your chair or scooter or financial aid programs for the disabled.

There are 19 questions. At the end of the form is a box where you can leave comments. Everyone who responds will be anonymous – names will not be revealed, nor will I reveal the names of anyone or any company or organization that you’ve talked about. When the study is done, I will make a one-page summary of what I’ve learned available to you if you leave your email.

Data will be housed in a secure location and all data will be erased on January 1, 2016.

1. What is your gender?

2. Which category below includes your age?

3. Are you now married, widowed, divorced, separated, or never married?

4. What is your approximate average household income?

5. What country do you live in?

6. What is the highest level of education that you have completed?

7. Do you belong to any disability organizations (Multiple Sclerosis Association, American Association of People With Disabilities, Disabled Veterans, etc) or online disability groups (Facebook groups, KosAbility, etc?)

8. What medical condition do you have that makes a mobility device (wheelchair/scooter/walker,etc) necessary?

9. Which of these devices do you use right now (check all that apply)?

10. Which of these have you used for more than 12 months?

11. Which of these activities do you need your wheelchair/walker/cane/scooter for?

12. Does someone regularly help with things like getting into the bath, dressing, preparing food, doing housework, going to places?

13. How did you buy your current wheelchair/scooter (did the doctor suggest it? Through the VA? Insurance company? Medicare?)

14. What brand of mobility devices (scooter/wheelchair/etc) do you have?

15. What sources of information do you use when choosing a wheelchair, walker, or scooter?

16. The next time you buy a mobility device, where will you go to get information on the device and what agencies or resources will you approach for help?

17. What resources (agencies, companies, individuals), are the LEAST helpful when you want information about mobility devices?

18. What are the most important things a person needs to think about in selecting a mobility device?

19. What advice would you give to a person getting a wheelchair for the first time – what do they need to think about?

20. What agencies and resources would you recommend to someone getting a new mobility device such as a scooter or wheelchair or walker?


* Most people have a preferred place to get wheelchair information -- and it's usually dictated by who's going to pay for it (government or insurance company.)

* The Internet is not always the best place to find information on the wheelchair you like.

* The manufacturer has the best information.

* Disability groups haven't been that helpful with information about wheelchairs.

* The way to find out about new technology is going out and looking for yourself. Insurance companies and social workers (case managers) don’t really have the latest information.


* Scooters are fairly easy to buy, and information on them is easy to find on the internet -- but it's usually a lot of hype.

* Insurance companies, disability assessors (the state or government office for disability) may decide you need one thing in spite of the many times you’ve told them that you have a different specific need.

* Having an advocate helps when you’re running through the process – especially an advocate who can call the various agencies and snarl at them if the process seems stuck