New Public Hearing Date on Wheelchair Repair

2/24/2023 12:00:00 AM


From Molly Cole, CT State Independent Living Council (CTSILC)

Tuesday, February 28, 2023 at 11:00 A.M. in Room 2E of the LOB and via Zoom

Human Services Committee

HB 6702 Right to Repair

Details below:

The hearing is on HB 6702 (2023HB-06702-R00-HB.DOCX ( , “right to repair”. This is about the problem of lack of access to timely repair of customized wheelchairs in CT (regardless of payor and regardless of whether under warranty)

We need people to tell their stories of problems with getting wheelchairs from one of the two suppliers in the state, NuMotion and National Seating and Mobility, severely comprising the independence of our folks and in some cases creating serious dangers to users of this equipment.


However, the bill being heard on Tuesday, HB 6702 (2023HB-06702-R00-HB.DOCX ( ), is about the “right to repair” such equipment, which puts the burden on the consumer to repair devices on their own (very difficult for many wheelchair users) or to pay out of pocket for such repairs from a third party (many of our folks are on low incomes) particularly when the supplier of the equipment is not responsive. After meeting with consumers in Connecticut, the consensus is that folks in CT want to go a different route. This is mostly due to looking at what will likely be most effective but also considering the reality that many manufacturing industries, not just wheelchair companies, come out to oppose any “right to repair” legislation in the state as a threat


We have crafted an alternative bill that has these key features:


  1. The wheelchair supplier must come out to assess the equipment within 3 business days of a call regarding a need for repair, timely repair it, and, in the case of items under warranty only, provide a loaner wheelchair starting on the 4th business day if repair is not possible by then.
  2. What is a “timely” repair will be determined through a broad stakeholder group. this is a complex issue and it would be difficult for the legislature to set the standard; for what is a timely response, depending on the type of repair)
  3. The Department of ADS will be responsible for promulgating regulations regarding what is “timely” repair by March 1, 2024 based on what the stakeholder group comes up with but, in the event they cannot reach consensus, ADS shall proceed to issue regulations anyway by that date, based on the input from the stakeholder group and the “best interests of consumers.”   
  4. Both the consumer and the AG have the right to bring an action in court if a supplier does not comply with the timely repair requirement in the ADS regulations.             
  5. The delivery of a custom wheelchair must include prominent written notice about the rights in #1 above.
  6. Manufacturers must stock parts or have a contract with another company to provide needed parts (often the source of the delay) overnight, wherever feasible.
  7. The suppliers must have a staffed 24 hour call center for receiving calls about urgent wheelchair repair needs, if they are multi-state entities.    



We have advised the sponsors of three right to repair bills (HB6702, HB5755 and HB6083) that we greatly appreciate their raising the bills and thus bringing awareness, but we think this approach will better meet the needs of wheelchair users in CT.


We need to turn people out for this hearing to tell their personal stories of the harm from waiting long periods for repairs AND to say that:


(1) We greatly appreciate their raising a bill to address this serious problem and their bill is certainly well-meaning.


(2) However wheelchair users and their advocates have been carefully considering this and are now proposing a different approach, as contained in an alternative bill which is being provided to committee members. Lots of witnesses telling their stories and referring to this alternative bill language will be very helpful. If you want, you can refer to it as the “Disability Rights CT alternative language.”


Hearing Details

The deadline to SIGN UP to testify in person/by zoom at the hearing is 3pm on Monday, February 27th.  


Individuals who wish to testify must register using the On line testimony registration form . Registration will close on Monday, February 20, 2023 at 3:00 P.M.  Speaker order of approved registrants will be listed in a randomized order and posted on the Human Services Committee website on Monday, February 20, 2023 at 6:00 P.M. under Public Hearing Testimony.  Your confirmation email will include the zoom link for the hearing. Knowing where you are on the list allows you to gauge when your number is likely to come up (and if you are watching on zoom, they show on the screen the number of the current speaker). Here is the form to Submit written testimony   









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The Mission of the Connecticut Spinal Cord Injury Association (SCIACT), a chapter of United Spinal Association, is to support those with spinal related injuries or diseases and their families by being an advocate for their rights while serving as a resource to its members and the general public.

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