(covers information from several alternate timelines)
A wheelchair is a device used to permit locomotion in a humanoid who is unable to use his or her legs due to accident, disease, or natural causes. It may be wheeled or be supported by analogous anti-gravity generators.
The USS Kelvin stored a wheelchair. This was used in the alternate reality to transport the heavily pregnant Winona Kirk from sickbay to Medical shuttle 37 during evacuation from the Narada's attack. (Star Trek)
After he was crippled in a training accident, Fleet Captain Christopher Pike was confined to a wheelchair, unable to walk or speak. The wheelchair provided movement as well as simple communication via a series of lights on the front of the device. Pike was given the illusion of leaving the wheelchair when his former colleague Spock brought him to Talos IV aboard the USS Enterprise in 2268. (TOS: "The Menagerie, Part I", "The Menagerie, Part II")
Admiral Mark Jameson had to use a wheelchair due to the debilitating effects of Iverson's Disease. He left the wheelchair after taking a rejuvenation treatment from planet Cerberus II which cured the disease and caused him to become appreciably younger. However, the treatment proved much too dangerous for Humans. (TNG: "Too Short a Season")
Melora Pazlar used, what she referred to as a "trolley car" to move around in areas of high gravity, due to her being an Elaysian, which prevented her from full range-of-movement while in high gravity areas. She sent the specifications of the wheelchair to Julian Bashir, before her arrival on Deep Space 9 in 2370. A low-technology version with wheels had to be used because Cardassian artificial gravity technology was not compatible with a standard Federation anti-grav unit. Upon viewing the device, Jadzia Dax exclaimed that she had not seen one in 300 years. (DS9: "Melora")
- The use of a wheelchair prop in the "The Menagerie" two-parter was meant to help camouflage the fact that a replacement actor was going to be playing Christopher Pike, instead of Jeffrey Hunter. (Star Trek: Aliens & Artifacts, p. 38) When Gene Roddenberry initially interviewed Sean Kenney about taking the part, Roddenberry stated, "All questions posed to you will be answered by you with a button, 'one beep' for yes and 'two beeps' for no, on a specially rigged light system, out of sight of the camera." (Captain Pike Found Alive!, "Chapter Two: Ground Zero") The prop consisted of an actual wheelchair which was motorized and outfitted with an outer plastic shell. Kenney himself maneuvered the wheelchair and operated the light. (Star Trek: Aliens & Artifacts, p. 40)
- Admiral Jameson's chair, as seen in "Too Short a Season", cost $10,000 to make and often malfunctioned during filming. (Star Trek: The Next Generation Companion, p. 43)
- The wheelchair seen in "Melora" was initially to have utilized anti-grav technology. The chair from "Too Short a Season" was to be pulled out of storage and remodelled, however, the chair had originally been designed with the larger set of the USS Enterprise-D in mind and it was quickly realized that it would not be practical in the relatively small Deep Space Nine corridor sets. As a result, a simplified 21st century wheelchair was used instead. (The Making of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, p. 108)
- The design of Melora's chair was greatly influenced by writer Evan Carlos Somers's personal experiences of navigating the studio offices. As Somers explains, "So Bashir has to replicate a much simpler wheelchair for her and she encounters all the problems that I did whenever I went down to the DS9 set to snoop around." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 93)
- Set Decorator Laura Richarz purchased the chair, which was revamped by Property Master Joe Longo. Longo said of how the production crew decided to keep the wheelchair as simple as possible, recalling that he, "...added a control panel and some wheel covers to block out the spokes in the wheels, and changed the joystick. Basically we tried to keep it as simple as possible, because of our experience on "Too Short a Season". We had made a big albatross of a moving chair for that, and it was bad. But this one worked great; the actress drove it everywhere." (Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Companion, p. 93)
- Captain Pike and his wheelchair appears in the Futurama episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before" along with numerous other Star Trek references. In a spoof of the court martial scenes from "The Menagerie, Part I" and "The Menagerie, Part II", Zapp Branigan places the Planet Express crew on trial, where Pike is called to give evidence using the communication device in his wheelchair.