Travelers Program

Thinking of Traveling?

Why Not Take a Wheelchair to Someone in Need!

Through the Travelers Program, individuals in the USA can purchase RoughRider America products in small volumes and take them as airline baggage on trips to the developing world.  Most of RoughRider America’s partners buy large volumes of wheelchairs and distribute them through rehabilitation hospitals and other local partners.  If you are planning to visit a person who needs a rugged wheelchair in the developing world, this program is for you.

Success Story

Whirlwind Wheelchair Travelers Program “While working with Slum Women’s Initiative for Development in Uganda I met a very bright young teenager named Jayla, but because of her disability and the rural dirt roads that become impassable during the rainy season, she rarely left her grandmother’s hut. After telling my husband about Jalya, with the idea that we would sponsor her for her school fees, my husband mentioned a unique organization named Whirlwind that had developed the RoughRider wheelchair for people just like Jalya. When I returned to Uganda the following summer, my husband and I carried two RoughRiders as our excess baggage-one for Jalya and one for a mother of two.

Delivering the chairs was a fantastic success and we’re delighted that Jalya’s able to maneuver around her new school much easier in her RoughRider. Whirlwind was incredibly helpful pre-trip as she needed to be “assessed” for the chair several time zones away. They needed to be shipped to the East Coast ahead of my move to Uganda with a very slim turn around time. The folks at Whirlwind, led by executive director Marc Krizack, went above and beyond to educate us about the wheelchair and to answer our queries once in Uganda.”

~ Raina Clark-Gaun, Development Worker

The Process

You can order a RoughRider or Aurora using this website and it will be delivered to your home before you travel.  We offer a price discount and information resources so that you can do your best to make sure that the chair fits the user and is appropriate for his or her needs.

  1. Review this page and make sure this program is right for you.
  2. Fill out the Travelers Program Form. You will receive a response email right away.
  3. If necessary, we will walk you through how to determine the proper size(s) needed.
  4. Purchase your RoughRider or Aurora online – don’t forget to use your discount code, which we will provide you.
  5. Your wheelchair will arrive usually within 5 business days of ordering.

After Sale Service

The following product descriptions are available for riders and buyers:

If you have any additional questions, please Contact Us

Customizing and Ordering My Roughrider

Seat Width

To find the distance between your hips, first position yourself seated with pelvis upright on a firm surface. Then, measure the distance between the widest points of the hips and thighs without compressing any tissue. Finally, record your measurements. It is important not to have a chair that is wider than necessary as it will be harder to push and may prevent you from passing through narrow doorways.

Seat Depth

Position yourself seated upright on a firm surface. Measure the length of your upper leg, the distance from behind the knee to the back of the pelvis (back of your lower leg). Subtract 1/2” to find the maximum seat depth, to allow for space between the back of the knee/upper leg and seat fabric. Record the final measurement.

Backrest Height

Your preferred backrest height is determined by your personal comfort level and physical ability. Whirlwind recommends, generally, that the top of the back support should fall just beneath the bottom of the shoulder blade. For less active riders who require more torso support, the back support should be higher, falling just beneath the armpit. Position yourself seated upright on a firm surface. Hold your hands flat against the surface you are sitting on. Measure the distance from the seated surface to the desired, most comfortable point for support on your back. To this number add the height of your cushion when you are sitting on it. Record the measurement.

Preferred Backrest Angle

Backrest angles are determined by the torso control of the rider. Whirlwind recommends that those with less torso control, such as quadriplegics, sit with a backrest angled further backwards to avoid falling forward in a wheelchair. Those with more torso control, such as amputees, can sit with the backrest more upright. Proper backrest angle is best determined by an occupational therapist or healthcare professional. Although there is only one option – 8 degrees – in the drop-down list below, you can adjust the backrest angle by adjusting the backrest straps (i.e. looser at the bottom and tighter at the top for a more erect position).

Now please enter your measurements into the fields on the product page before ordering. For more information about measuring, please refer to the RoughRider Fitting Sheet. You are responsible for choosing the right chair for yourself. If you are uncomfortable with determining your wheelchair size, please consult a professional.