Colorado’s nation-leading ‘right to repair’ wheelchair bill goes into effect on January 1

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DENVER: After a year of hard work and testimony from people who use powered-wheelchairs highlighting the problems they experienced trying to fix them, Colorado’s Legislature and governor passed a law over the summer that made it the first state to give people who use wheelchairs the right to repair their mobility devices. Now, the country’s first “right-to-repair” bill for powered-wheelchairs is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2023.

The bill gives people who use wheelchairs access to the parts, tools and diagnostics they need to fix their wheelchairs when they break and allow them to maintain mobility faster and more effectively.

CoPIRG executive director Danny Katz issued the following statement:

“For decades, if something you owned broke, you had options – you could fix it yourself, take it to an independent repair shop or go back to the manufacturer,” said Danny Katz, CoPIRG executive director. “Unfortunately, as more of our stuff, from blenders to tractors, becomes digital, manufacturers increasingly lock us out, undermining the repair marketplace and driving up costs and inconvenience for consumers.

When you rely on your powered-wheelchair to get around, any delay in repair is not only a quality-of-life issue, but a matter of life and death. Yet a constrained market for wheelchair service and repair makes delays for repair of weeks or even months common.

After years of hard work, I’m proud to see the Colorado legislature step up and become the first state to give wheelchair users the right to repair their equipment. This is a big win in Colorado and an example for the dozens of states around the country working for their residents’ right to repair their stuff.”