Wright State’s wheelchair mechanic

Jim Voisard, an assistive technology professional at Numotion, fixing a wheelchair pedal for Wright State student Dominique Jenkins.

Jim Voisard, an assistive technology professional at Numotion, fixing a wheelchair pedal for Wright State student Dominique Jenkins. (Photo by Erin Pence)

For Wright State students who use wheelchairs, loose bolts, squeaky pedals and other mechanical headaches can limit mobility. That’s why having a wheelchair mechanic on campus every other Monday is a godsend.

Numotion provides complex rehab equipment such as mobility and standing equipment, patient transfer systems, bathroom safety equipment, ambulatory equipment and pediatric equipment. The company has a local office in Vandalia.

Jim Voisard, an assistive technology professional at Numotion, voluntarily comes to Wright State to assist students.

“I’ve been visiting patients here since the mid-90s, but most recently with the start of Numotion Mondays, I am here regularly,” said Voisard. “I’ve gotten to know some of the students and enjoy it.”

A busy day consists of a line of about a dozen students. On slower days, Voisard assists three to six students.

“I absolutely love Jim coming a few times a month. It’s so convenient and easy to get to,” said Dominique Jenkins, a Wright State student whose wheelchair company is three hours away. “Since Jim is here, I won’t have to call them to fix something on my chair, and I love that.”

Students commonly visit Voisard for tightening bolts, replacing a missing nut and getting new equipment and seating and positioning devices. In the winter, Voisard said he is commonly asked to clean off road and sidewalk salt from the wheelchairs.

“Sometimes it’s just good old advice, making a student aware of an accessory or feature that is available to them that they didn’t know about before,” he said.

“Jim helped me with a minor fix,” said Jenkins. “He had to tighten up my footplate, and I couldn’t be happier. My footplate has been bothering me for a while, and now he has fixed it.”

“If I could say anything to Jim it would be that he is an amazing and helpful worker, and I love that he comes to help us,” said Jenkins.

Voisard had a friend in high school who is a paraplegic.

“It was my first look into the needs of the disabled, and I learned a lot from him,” Voisard said. “It stuck with me, and I have managed to make a career of it. He is still a good friend of mine too, and I have been able to help him.”

Voisard served in the Army for three years before entering the rehab equipment industry in 1987.

“I also fell in love with the woman who would be become my wife back then and college took a backseat to my relationship with her and my work,” he said. “I am now credentialed through the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America as an ATP.”

Numotion has offices located across the United States.

“We have access to therapists who are needed to justify equipment needs right here in the Dayton metropolitan area, so I can and do encourage the students I see to pursue their needs wherever they are because chances are wherever they are there is a Numotion nearby,” Voisard said.

“I wouldn’t be in the line of work I’m in if I didn’t get a sincere sense of satisfaction from helping people,” he said. “Opening a child’s world to mobility is very rewarding, and many times they are the most appreciative patients I serve.”

For more information about Numotion, visit numotion.com.

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