ISS 2017 Program


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IC35: Are Environmental Control Units (ECUs) a Thing of the Past?

We will explore how consumers can perform electronic ADLs, such as controlling the television, lights, and even thermostat through integrating commercially available technologies. The increasing abundance and popularity of mobile phone applications means a client who may not have the financial means to acquire a stand-alone environmental control unit, can now have many, if not all, of the same access to their environment via their mobile phone.

This session is supported by a company with reported interest in the sale of Assistive Technology products. The content has been reviewed by ISS personnel and determined to be appropriate for continuing education purposes.


Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this session, attendees will be able to;



Tricia Garven, PT, ATP
Lebanon, TN
United States

Tricia Garven, MPT, ATP is currently a Regional Clinical Education Manager for Permobil.  Previously, in clinical practice, Tricia specialized in neuro rehabilitation at Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation (BIR) in Dallas, Texas where she gained extensive knowledge in the prescription and training of custom wheelchairs and seating. Tricia is an active member of RESNA, Clinician’s Task Force, and the APTA and the Neurology Section as well on the nominating committee for the newly formed AT-SWM SIG.

Mary Simonson, OTL
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
San Jose, CA

Mary has been working as an OT for 19 years after graduating from USC.  Her experiences range from working with spinal cord injuries, neurological injuries and orthopedic injuries. She is currently working in Neuro Outpatient and helping run the Custom Seating and Positioning Wheelchair Clinic at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center.  She is RIDE Designs Certified and NDT trained. She was a clinical evaluators for the Geron Corporation sponsored trial of stem cell treatment for spinal cord injury.

Elisa Hopwood, OTL
Santa Clara Valley Medical Center
San Jose, CA

Elisa has been an Occupational Therapist for 16 years after graduating from San Jose State University. She currently works at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center   While at VMC she has worked on various rehab units including stroke and SCI and for the last 6 years has been working in the Neuro Outpatient Department and is one of three therapists involved in the Wheelchair Clinic.



    1. Cook, A. M., Polgar, J. M., & Hussey, S. M. (2008). Cook & Hussey's assistive technologies: Principles and practice. St. Louis: Mosby Elsevier.
    2. Guerette, P., & Sumi, E. (1994). Integrating Control of Multiple Assistive Devices: A Retrospective Review. Assistive Technology, 6(1), 67-76.
    3. Hreha, K., & Snowdon, L. (2011). We All Can Call: Enhancing Accessible Cell Phone United Statesge for Clients With Spinal Cord Injury. Assistive Technology, 23(2), 76-80.

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