Seattle Based Wheelchair Wheel Invention, MagicWheels® Wins Washington Access Fund Innovation Award

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Wheels’ Geared Hub Recognized for Revolutionizing Manual Wheelchair Mobility

On Tuesday, November 11, MagicWheels® by PROVAIL received the Innovation Award presented by the Washington Access Fund. The award ceremony was held at Town Hall Seattle on November 11 and was followed by a presentation by John Hockenberry, public radio host and author on assistive technology and disability rights.

The Washington Access Fund describes the awards as an opportunity to “recognize businesses, organizations, and individuals who have positively impacted people with disabilities in Washington.” The awards consisted of five categories: Innovation, Best Practices, Ron Adams Award for the Outstanding Access Fund Client, Recreational Engagement, and Economic Opportunity.

In order to be considered for an award, a nominee was required to demonstrate why they are deserving of recognition, how their contribution or achievement has been outstanding, and prove dedication, impact, and originality.

MagicWheels was recognized for their innovative design of 2-gear manual wheelchair wheels. The self-contained shifting, 2:1 gearing and automatic hill holding built into the wheel allows manual wheelchair users mobility like they’ve never experienced – all without batteries, electronics, or motors. With MagicWheels, users can climb hills, ramps, curb cuts, and even take on rough terrain.

“We just want wheelchair users out there to know they have another option,” said MagicWheels, Inc. co-founder, Steve Meginniss. “And that this option can not only improve their independent wheelchair mobility, but may actually improve their strength and decrease pain associated with long term manual wheelchair use.”

About Washington Access Fund

The Washington Access Fund uses asset-building tools like Microcredit and Individual Development Accounts to promote access to technology and economic opportunity for individuals with disabilities in Washington State. Washington Access Fund is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI).

To learn more about the Washington Access Fund please visit http://washingtonaccessfund.org

About MagicWheels

MagicWheels replaces conventional wheels on wheelchairs. They were developed in part with funds from the federal NIH Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the Washington Technology Center (WTC) (funded by State of Washington). MagicWheels caters to both the active user who is in and out of their car all day, as well as those who just need assistance getting up and down simple ramps. Everyday use of the 2-speed drive may also lessen the stress and strain to user’s arms and shoulders while pushing the wheelchair during daily activities.MagicWheels are produced and marketed by PROVAIL, a Seattle area nonprofit organization which supports children and adults with disabilities. PROVAIL’s Fabrication Division is social enterprise business that employs people of varying abilities and disabilities in a manufacturing facility in North Seattle.

MagicWheels was co-founded in 1996 by Steve Meginniss, a successful inventor and product developer (sonicare® Toothbrush, Clarisonic™ skin care, Quinton Quik-Prep®). Other founders include a physiatrist with experience in two multi-speed manual wheelchair projects, a major local wheelchair dealer, a leading model maker, and a CPA.

To learn more about Magic Wheels visit http://www.magicwheels.com

To learn more about PROVAIL visit http://www.provail.org

For media requests and inquiries, please contact Rhonni LaCroix, at PROVAIL, (206) 826-1036.

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Rhonni LaCroix
PROVAIL
+1 (425) 454-4442
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