ISS 2017 Program


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PC02: Foundations of Wheelchair Seating & Mobility Evaluations

This fundamental class will walk through the major components of wheelchair seating and mobility evaluations (WSM). We will start with discussing overarching concepts of WSM and cover basic funding and documentation requirements as related to evaluations and equipment letters of medical necessity.

In an interactive discussion, we will identify common postural deformities and note how they relate to seating and mobility needs; walk thought a supine and sitting mat evaluation relating the findings back to decision making for equipment decisions; and practice standard measurement taking relating those measurements back to equipment decision making.

We will have a variety of equipment present to represent general categories of equipment. The class will have hands on time to look at the variety of equipment and discuss appropriate applications for: wheelchair frames, parts, accessories, and seating components. We will touch on the basic pros and cons of these items during decision making related to WSM. The course participants will have a thorough reference to use for further learning after the class.

Finally, we will share several case presentations to highlight clinical decision making as related to spinal cord injury, brain injury, cerebral palsy, bariatric needs, pediatric concerns, and other neurologic illnesses and/or injuries.

Learning Objectives:

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



Patricia E. Tully, OTR
TIRR Memorial Hermann
Houston, Texas
United States

Patricia Tully, OTR, TIRR Education Academy Manager. Patricia is responsible for developing high impact, post-professional education courses and conferences for the entire treatment team. Patricia earned her BSOT from Texas Tech University in 1999. She has a special interest in treating those with complex postural support and positioning needs to help them gain needed function. Patricia has been part of the TIRR Wheelchair clinic since it's inception in 2005, and currently sees patients for a non-profit organization.

Diane Thomson, MS, OTR/L, ATP
Rehab Institute Michigan (RIM)
United States

Diane graduated in 1993 from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in Psychology and in 1995 from Rush University with a MS in Occupational Therapy. She works at the Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan in the outpatient wheelchair seating clinic and on the inpatient SCI unit. She has previously presented at ISS and is a guest lecturer at Wayne State University.

Sheila Blochlinger, PT, ATP
Children's Specialized Hospital
New Brunswick, New Jersey
United States

Sheila Blochlinger is a Physical Therapist with 29 years of experience and is employed as the Manager of the Rehabilitation Technology Department at Children's Specialized Hospital in NJ. She is responsible for the clinical programs that provide adaptive equipment to all the inpatients, outpatients and long term care children. Children's Specialized Hospital is the largest free standing pediatric rehabilitation hospital in the US. Sheila is involved in research and also sits on several advisory boards.



    1. Arledge, S., Armstrong, W., Babinec, M., Dicianno, B., Digiovine, C., Dyson-Hudson, T., Pederson, J., Piriano, J., Plummer, T., Rosen, L., Schmeler, M., Shea, M., & Stogner, J. (2011). RESNA Wheelchair Service Provision Guide.
    2. Requejo, P.S., Furumasu, J., & Mulroy, S.J. (2015). Evidence-Based Strategies for Preserving Mobility for Elderly and Aging Manual Wheelchair Users. Top Geriatr Rehabil. 31(1), 26-41.
    3. Crytzer, T.M., Hong, E.K., Dicianno, B.E., Pearlman, J., Schmeler, M., & Cooper, R.A. (2016). Identifying characteristic back shapes from anatomical scans of wheelchair users to improve seating design. Med Eng Phys. doi: 10.1016/jmedengphy.2016.06.017.
    4. Gefen, A. (2014). Tissue changes in patients following spinal cord injury and implications for wheelchair cushions and tissue loading: a literature review. Ostomy Wound Manage. 60(2), 34-45.
    5. Pendleton, H.M., & Shultz-Krohn, W. (2013). Pedretti's Occupational Therapy: Practice skills for physical dysfunction (7th ed.). St. Louis, MO: Mosby.
    6. Sprigle, S., Lenker, J.,& Searcy, K. (2012). Activities of suppliers and technicians during the provision of complex and standard wheeled mobility devices. Disability and Rehabilitation: Asistive Technology. 7(3), 219-225.
    7. Sprigle, S., Lenker, J., & Searcy, K.. (2012). Activities of suppliers and technicians during the provision of complex and standard wheeled mobility devices. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 7(3), 219-25.
    8. Feldner, H.A., Logan, S.W., & Galloway, J.C. (2015). Why the time is right for a radical paradigm shift in early powered mobility: the role of powered mobility technology devices, policy and stakeholders. Disabil Rehabil Assist Technol. 4, 1-14.

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Updated | 11.08.2016      Facebook logo  Twitter
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