Wheelchair & Seating Glossary

Attendant Control -wheelchair pushed or controlled by the person standing behind chair.
Back Canvas – material between the push handles/backposts behind the wheelchair user’s back.
Buggy – a buggy providing additional more support and features than a shop bought buggy.
Castor – small wheel at the front of the wheelchair.
Charger – box connected to the electricity supply that puts power into the wheelchair batteries.
Charging Point – where the charger connects to the wheelchair to charge it.
Contoured Seat – a cushion made for an individuals shape, often because of complex physical needs to maintain suitable posture and pressure requirements.
EEC – Energy Efficient Chair
EPAC – Electrically Powered Attendant Controlled
EPIC – Electrically Powered Indoor Chair
EPIOC – Electrically Powered Indoor and Outdoor Chair
Footplate – part of the wheelchair that you put your feet on.
Hanger – part of the wheelchair that holds the footplate in place.
Heel Loops – part of the wheelchair footplate that sits behind your heel to help hold your foot in position on the foot plate.
Ischial tuberosity – The bone that protrudes from the back of the pelvis that may get sore when sitting on a hard surface for extended periods of time.
Joystick – small stick on powered wheelchair controller that you move to make the chair move.
Kerb Climber – part on the powered wheelchair that lifts the front of the wheelchair up onto a kerb. Usually 4 inch kerb.
Motor Lever Lock – part of the wheelchair that allows either the powered wheelchair to free wheel or be powered by motors.
Postural Management – the ways in which a person’s posture is managed.
Powered Wheelchair – a wheelchair that is moved with electric motors.
Pressure – the amount of weight on an area.
Pressure Management – methods to reduce problems caused by pressure issues, such as time sat, diet and weight.
Push Rim – part of the wheelchair wheel used by user to move the rear wheels yourself.
Seat Canvas – material between the metal seat rails usually underneath the seat cushion.
Seating – components on the wheelchair next to the patient, e.g. seat cushion and backrest.
Self Propelled Wheelchair – a wheelchair moved by the user by moving the rear wheels by themselves. These will be big wheels.
Special Wheelchair Controls – equipment on a powered wheelchair used to control the driving, without using a standard joystick.
Switch control – use of electric switches to control current from a battery to operate an electric elbow, wrist rotator or terminal device.
Tipping Aid/Lever – part of a manual wheelchair at the back that is used to help lift the front of the wheelchair to get a wheelchair up a kerb.
Transit Wheelchair – wheelchair moved by an attendant pushing behind the wheelchair.
Wheel Axle – middle of the wheel around which the wheel spins.
Wheelchair – is a wheeled mobility device in which the user sits.
WSS – wheelchair and seating service

NHS Lothian's Southeast Scotland Mobility & Assistive Technology Centre