Whirlwind Wheelchair International lands big Department of Education grant

Marc Krizack, director of Whirlwind Wheelchair International — a planning and mobility assistance program based out of San Francisco State University — was recently awarded a $4.8 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education to develop wheelchair technology for citizens living in Third World countries.

What will you use the $4.8 million education grant for? We’re going to do a five-year comprehensive research study on wheelchair technology in five developing countries: Tanzania, South Africa, Vietnam, Cambodia [and] Colombia, as well as American Indian tribal lands in the U.S. The project has two parts. The first will be an information-gathering phase and the second will be about demonstration projects.

What are the current living conditions for people with disabilities in these countries? Most people with disabilities in the developing world are the poorest of the poor. The lucky few who do get support rely pretty much solely on government, nonprofits and charities to provide for them.

How responsive are these government and nonprofit groups to the needs of disabled people? It really depends on the place. Some provide very little support, some are better. We’re working with a government agency in South Africa which has been very supportive. But in Vietnam, the government does very little.

Bay Area NewsLocalTransittransportation

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Study finds SF paid family leave measure has yielded limited benefits so far

More fathers take parental leave, but many employees unaware of program

Return of indoor dining put on hold due to rise in coronavirus cases

San Francisco will no longer allow indoor dining to reopen next week… Continue reading

SFMTA will install transit-only lane on Beale St this week

A two-way bike protected bike path and wider sidewalks to follow

Boy, 6, fatally shot on Fourth of July remembered for his smile, intelligence

A 6-year-old boy who was fatally struck by gunfire while watching fireworks… Continue reading

Effort to ‘undercut’ proposed ballot measure to split up Public Works fails

Voters would be asked to create a new Department of Sanitation and Streets

Most Read