A program that recycles wheelchairs for people with disabilities has provided more than 150 chairs over the past 18 months.
The CReATE program is part of Utah State University’s Assistive Technology Program. It takes older, donated power wheelchairs as well as manual chairs and puts them back in working order. Coordinator Tom Boman says the chairs are available with no eligibility requirements. With Medicaid or private insurance, Boman says disabled clients might have to wait years to replace a chair that’s broken or worn out.
“Most of us really just don’t get what it means to them to be able to be mobile," Boman tells KUER. "It’s their legs. Y’know, it means a lot for their independence, their autonomy, their dignity and self-confidence.”
Rebuilt power wheelchairs cost about 500 dollars through the CReATE program. Manual chairs go for about 150 dollars. Boman says some assistance is available for people who can’t afford that.
CReATE is located behind the state’s Work Ability Utah office in Salt Lake City at 1595 West 500 South.