What is WC19 and what is its purpose?

WC19, or more correctly, Section 19 of RESNA Wheelchair Standards, Volume 4: Wheelchairs and Transportation: Wheelchairs for Use in Motor Vehicles (Section 19, RESNA WC-4:2017) establishes the minimum wheelchair design and performance requirements that improve the safety and security of wheelchair-seated occupants of motor vehicles, both during regular transport and especially in a crash. A wheelchair that complies with WC19 is also referred to as a WC19 wheelchair, or as a wheelchair with the transit option. Lists of crash-tested products are available on this website.

Other RESNA standards address the issues of wheelchair design and performance, such as strength, durability, and stability. These standards are all currently managed by the RESNA Committee on Wheelchairs. RESNA standards are “voluntary” standards in that they are not mandated by federal or state laws. Each wheelchair manufacturer self-certifies whether a product meets the standard’s requirements. RESNA wheelchair standards have been reorganized so they will exist within the following volumes.

  • Volume I: Manual Wheelchairs
  • Volume II: Powered Wheelchairs
  • Volume III: Wheelchair Seating
  • Volume IV: Wheelchairs and Transportation (published Dec 2012).

Unlike other wheelchair standards, WC19 is not yet perfectly harmonized with the ISO wheelchair transportation standard because it was developed before the ISO equivalent. However, recent efforts are moving towards harmonization.