Velomobility for Disability

Two women on bicycles on a city street. Mary Norcliffe photograph
Mary Norcliffe photograph
research investigators

Lead investigator: Dr Glen Norcliffe, Faculty of Environmental and Urban Change, York University, Toronto, Canada

Co-investigator: Dr Annika Kruse, Assistant Professor, Institute of Human Movement Science, Sport and Health, University of Graz, Austria

Co-investigator: Alies Poetri Lintangsari, Lecturer in Inclusive Education, Brawijaya University, Malang, Indonesia; Doctoral Candidate, Monash University, Melbourne, Australia

Co-investigator: Dr Sugiano Sutopawiro, Professor of Industrial Engineering, Brawijaya University, Malang, Indonesia


The Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada

Project Period


Project Summary

This project examines both the makers and of users of a wide range of adaptive cycles, asking how cycle designs for persons with a disability are developed, whether users contribute to design, and to what extent they meet users’ needs.   In what ways do adaptive cycles assist the velomobility of persons with a disability, and what design features are not helpful?  Recent technical developments, including new light and strong materials, e-assist, and various electronic devices have made velomobility a possibility for a widening range of disabilities.  The study will compare the experiences of makes and users in Indonesia with those in Canada and Western Europe.


Project members wish to avoid ableist perspectives by listening to the users of adaptive cycles, identifying their needs, and endorsing crip assessments of the needs for mobility. The questionnaires were developed by speaking with makers (many of whom are either disabled or have family members who are disabled), and with users or their caregivers (not all users are verbal). The project proposal has been carefully assessed by York University’s Ethics Review Board and approved in November 2023.

Contact the Research Team

Meet the Team

Glen Norcliffe, Principal Investigator | Professor Norcliffe is the project team leader. He is an economic geographer who has taught at York University since 1970. Learn more about Professor Norcliffe and his work.

Contact: gnorclif[at]

Glen Norcliffe

Annika Kruse, Co-investigator | Dr Kruse is assistant professor in the field of “physical activity and public health” at the Institute of Human Movement Science, Sport and Health at the University of Graz. For almost a decade, she has mainly worked with individuals with cerebral palsy.

Contact: annika.kruse[at]

Annika Kruse

Sugiono Sutopawiro, Co-investigator | Dr Sutopawiro is a Universitas Brawijaya professor and a former committee member of its Center for Disability Studies.

Contact: sugiono_ub[at]

Sugiono Sutopawiro

Alies Poetri Lintangsari, Co-investigator | A lecturer at Universitas Brawijaya, Alies is also a research associate in AIDRAN (Australia Indonesia Disability Research and Advocacy Network). She is pursuing a PhD at Monash University, Australia.

Contact: alieslintang[at]

Alies Poetri Lintangsari

Hanna Stefanie Auer, Research Assistant |Hanna is currently undertaking her Master studies in teaching sports and physics at the University of Graz and is working with Professor Kruse.

Contact: hanna.auer[at]

Hanna Stefanie Auer

Neha Basnet, Research Assistant | Neha is a Master’s student in the Environmental Studies program at York University. Neha and her husband, Darshan, came to Canada from Nepal in August 2023. Neha has worked with disabled people in Nepal.

Contact: nbasnet[at]

Neha Basnet

Habibul Ichwan, Research Assistant | Habibul is working with Professor Sutopawiro. He runs fast-track bachelor and master programs in industrial engineering at Brawijaya University.

Contact: habibichwan[at]

Habibul Ichwan

Mahalli M. Sos, Research Assistant | Mahalli is the accessibility expert at the Center for Disability Services, Universitas Brawijaya and manager of media and communication for AIDRAN, the Australia Indonesia Disability Research and Advocacy Network.

Contact: mahallism[at]

M. Sos Mahalli

Related Publications
  • Buliung, Ron, Annika Kruse, Glen Norcliffe, and John Radford. 2023. “Cycling Technologies and Disability.” In The Routledge Companion to Cycling, edited by Glen Norcliffe, Una Brogan, Peter Cox, Boyang Gao, Tony Hadland, Sheila Hanlon, Tim Jones, Nicholas Oddy, and Luis Vivanco, 140–48. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge
  • Kruse, Annika and Glen Norcliffe. 2022. “A History of Therapeutic Cycles for Persons with Impairment.” Presented at the 31st International Cycle History Conference, Indianapolis, Indiana, May.
  • Norcliffe, Glen, Ron Buliung, Annika Kruse, and John Radford. 2022. “Disability and Cycling Technology: A Socio-historical Analysis.” Disability Studies Quarterly 41, no. 1.