The Railing Side Wheel Control Method

I was introduced to this method twenty four years ago as a brand new T(4-5) paraplegic. At the time, I was rolling around in the rehabiliatation hospital on a gurney, not yet ready for a wheelchair. The man who demonstrated it to me either came up with the method himself, or he learned from someone else. Regardless, as the number one promoter of this method, I have named it "Railing Side Wheel Control".

The only requirements are one sturdy railing and a light weight wheelchair.

Instruction of the RSWC Method

This video goes shows the instruction of the RSWC method to a new paraplegic at a rehabilitation hospital in Boston.

The difference in body positioning between myself and the patient partially explains why I am able to generate more power for ascending each step.

Railing Side Wheel Control Spreads to China

The "Gorilla" Method

This method is demonstrated by "Ebay". This method requires a sturdy railing, a seat belt, and wheel cams. The wheel cams allow the wheels to roll backwards, but not forward on each step. The seat belt keeps his wheelchair from separating away from his body as he goes up the step.

NOTE: These particular steps have a short rise and have a long run.

The "Monkey" Method for Going Down and Back Up

Here we have "Ebay" demonstrating his stairway accessibility device at his home. A key feature of this method is the seat belt and the wheel cams that permit the wheelchair to stop on each step. The ability to stop on each step allows for resting.

The "Off the Road" Method

This method obviously works, but requires lots of lower body control and two railings.

Another "Off Road" Method

This method appears to require a good deal of effort. It also seems to need stairs with a relatively low rise over run.

The "Two Crutch" Method

Jeff Adams demonstrates this method as he ascends the steps backward to the Acropolis in Greece. This method requires a specially built wheelchair that appears have the following features:

1. Small rear wheels with cam locks that permit backwards, but not forward rolling.
2. A short wheel base for stopping on long steps.
3. A seat belt.

Two crutches and control of trunk muscles are also needed.

The "One Crutch" Method

Once again, Jeff Adams demonstrates his method as he ascends the 1776 steps of the CN Tower in Canada. The wheelchair chair appears to be the same or similair to the one used in the previous video. The only obvious difference in this method is the use of one crutch and the railing.

The "Two Chairs and One Pole" Method

I used this method for over ten years to get to the upstairs of my former home. The pole in the video is used at a two story commercial building.

Two wheelchairs are required.

Going Down "Backwards" Style

This method is the most popular method for going downstairs. It requires one sturdy railing.

Railing Side Wheel Control Method for Escalators

Using the RSWC method for escalators requires mostly good balance. Not much strength is required, only enough for a good grip on the railing.

Two Railing Method for Ascending Escalators

The most commonly used method for going up escalators.

Backward Two Railing Method for Escalators

The cousin to the backward method for descending stairs.

"Free Wheeling" Down Stairs

The key here is good wheelie balance. The other important item is finding stairs with a low rise and a long enough run to allow you to slow down after each step. If you pick up speed with each step, it is very difficult to do more than a few steps.

Four Cross Down the Stairs

Fast and fun, but you need an off road wheelchair.

The Danger of Going Down Backwards

Going down is easy as long as you do not lose your grip.

Failed "Free Wheeling"

It is not uncommon to crash at the bottom of the stairs with this method.