The Quickie Wheelchair was designed by Marilyn Hamilton, who founded Motion Designs in the year after she suffered a serious hang-gliding accident that left her partially paralyzed. As such, the Quickie Wheelchair was developed by a woman with many gifts; Marilyn Hamilton is an athlete, advocate, entrepreneur and visionary. She is a person with a passion for change; years after the creation of the Quickie Chair, Marilyn remains a disability advocate and an important voice within the disability community.
As MarilynHamilton.com notes, “Marilyn…and her partners brought a new palette to the industry making chairs an extension of a person’s personality. The Quickie was born, and instantly revolutionized the wheelchair industry by listening to consumers needs and wants along with innovations in manufacturing, technology, quality and marketing.”
Quickie Wheelchairs come in a variety of models, makes and colors; they offer manual wheelchairs, electric wheelchairs, pediatric wheelchairs and sport wheelchairs designed to meet the needs of those with varying degrees of ability and mobility. (They also carry a sport wheelchairs specific to tennis and basketball!) Quickie chairs are designed with function and portability in mind; they are among the most popular portable wheelchairs on the market. (The Quickie was first released as a portable, folding model in 1983.) The first Quickie chair weighed 26 pounds; by contrast, standard wheelchairs available in the 1980′s weighed 50 pounds. Marilyn Hamilton’s interest in sports and activity was a primary motivating factor behind the lighter chair; she wanted a wheelchair that she could use for competitions such as the Paralympic Games.
The Quickie represents not only a lighter, more graceful chair, but also a chair with greater personality. The variety of colors and styles offered by Quickie Wheelchair express a more fun, active lifestyle than that portrayed by the older, heavier, monochromatic chairs. Marilyn Hamilton and her colleagues desired to create a new chair and share a new message: mobility aids were nothing to be ashamed of. Wheelchairs could be considered ‘cool.’ Thanks in part to Marilyn Hamilton’s efforts, people with disabilities were able to participate in new sports, travel to new places and feel a greater sense of pride in their means of transportation.
As Joseph P. Shapiro writes in his article, “How A Woman Re-Invented The Wheelchair” (from Disability Alert via NJNNetwork.com), “Hamilton [had] reinvented the wheelchair. She took a piece of medical equipment and made it fun and sporty. She took the universal symbol of sickness and turned it into a symbol of disability self-pride.”
You can find Quickie Wheelchairs in your local Mobility Shops, as well as through various online retailers. Quickie Wheelchair Company has been purchased by Sunrise Medical, and as such Sunrise Medical is a major distributor.