Introduction

In the USA an estimated 2.2 million people currently use wheelchairs for their daily mobility (Americans with Disabilities, 1994; Shalala et al., 1996). It is likely that more than twice that number use wheelchairs at any given time to augment their mobility. Worldwide, an estimated 100-130 million people with disabilities need wheelchairs, though less than 10% own or have access to one (New Freedom Initiative Act, 2001). While these numbers are staggering, experts predict that the number of people who need wheelchairs will increase by 22% over the next 10 years (Department of Veterans Affairs, 2002). The leading cause of disabilities in the world can be attributed to landmines, particularly in developing nations, leading to 26,000 people injured or killed by landmines each year (Department of Veterans Affairs, 2002).

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