ISS 2017 Program


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PC07: Dynamic Seating - Providing Movement and Why

Dynamic seating provides movement which occurs within the seat and/or wheelchair frame in response to force from the client. Dynamic components absorb force which, in turn, assists the client back to a starting position. Most wheelchair seating systems are static. If the client is able to move, this movement is independent of the seating system. Providing movement within the seating system and/or wheelchair frame allows the client to move while maintaining contact with support surfaces to provide stability and reduce shear forces. Dynamic seating has many applications. For clients with increased muscle tone, dynamic components absorb and diffuse this force, increasing seating tolerance, reducing extensor posturing and maintaining the client's overall position. By absorbing force, dynamic components also reduce wear and tear on the seating system and wheelchair. Research has demonstrated that agitated clients often calm in response to movement and sub-aroused clients become more alert. Movement provides sensory input and many clients seek this out. Movement is critical. By moving, the brain is developing through neuroplasticity. Dynamic seating may be integrated within a wheelchair and typically include more than one area of movement. Other dynamic seating options are modular, can be placed on a variety of wheelchair frames and capture one specific area of movement. Common modular options capture movement at the pelvis, knee and head.


Learning Objectives:

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



Michelle L Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Access to Independence
Arvada, Colorado
United States

Michelle is an occupational therapist with 30 years of experience and has been in private practice, Access to Independence, for 10 years. She is a well-respected lecturer, both nationally and internationally and has authored 6 book chapters and over 200 articles. She is the editor of Fundamentals in Assistive Technology, 4th ed. and Clinical Editor of NRRTS Directions magazine. Michelle is a member of the Clinician Task Force.

Jessica Presperin Pedersen, OTR/L, ATP
Rehab Institute of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois
United States

Jessica works as a researcher at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago soon to be called the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab. Jessica recently earned her doctorate in OT from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. She provides wheelchair and seating services at an RIC off-site and has a private practice where she provides seating consultations and presentations for pre-service and post- service continuing education as well as product development.

Jill M Sparacio, OTR/L, ATP/SMS, ABDA
Sparacio Consulting Services
Downers Grove, Illinois
United States

Jill is an OT in private practice with over 30 years experience. She provides OT services to children and adults with intellectual disabilities and medical fragility specializing in seating and wheeled mobility. Jill presents the clinical application of seating and wheeled mobility throughout North America and internationally. She is a member of the Clinician Task Force and has been actively involved in funding and delivery issues on the state and national levels.

Suzanne Eason, OT/L
Norfolk, Virginia
United States

Suzanne Eason has been an occupational therapist for over 25 years and the director of Occupational Therapy Support Services at St. Mary's Home in Norfolk, Va., for 19 years. Eason has found her calling as an advocate for individuals with complex medical conditions. Her motto: “We provide the foundations for function” has evolved into a small private practice. When not at SMHDC, she can be found at her busy home with her husband and 2 legged and 4 legged children.

Sharon L Sutherland (Pratt), PT
Seating Solutions, LLC
Longmont, Colorado
United States

Sharon has specialized in the field of seating, positioning and mobility for the past 28 years. Graduating from Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland as a Physical Therapist, Sharon has experienced many aspects of the seating and mobility service delivery model. She offers clinical consultation to clients, clinicians and manufacturers worldwide and has given over 800 presentations on seating and mobility. Known to many as a dynamic and highly energetic speaker, Sharon's knowledge and experience makes her a skilled clinician and instructor.



    1. Avellis, M., Cazzaniga, A., Cimolin, V., Galli, M., and Turconi, A.C. (2010). Dynamic seating vs. rigid seating: A quantitative comparison using 3d movement analysis in people with cerebral palsy. Posture and Mobility, 26(1):15 - 16.
    2. Cimolin, V., Piccinini, L., Avellis, M., Cazzaniga, A., Turconi, A. C., Crivellini, M., & Galli, M. (2009). 3D-Quantitative evaluation of a rigid seating system and dynamic seating system using 3D movement analysis in individuals with dystonic tetraparesis. Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology, 4(6), 422-428.
    3. Hahn, M. E., Simkins, S. L., Gardner, J. K., & Kaushik, G. (2009). A dynamic seating system for children with cerebral palsy. Journal of Musculoskeletal Research, 12(01), 21-30.
    4. Emiliani, P. L. (2009). Supporting Inclusion and Independence: Compliant Seating for Children with Cerebral Palsy and Whole Body Extensor Spasms. Assistive Technology from Adapted Equipment to Inclusive
      Environments: AAATE 2009, 25, 52.
    5. Crane, B. A., Holm, M. B., Hobson, D., Cooper, R. A., & Reed, M. P. (2007). A dynamic seating intervention for wheelchair seating discomfort. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, 86(12), 988-993.
    6. Samaneein, K., Riches, P., Green, P., & Lees, K. (2012). Assessment of forces imparted on seating systems by children with special needs during daily living activities. In Biomedical Engineering and Sciences (IECBES), 2012 IEEE EMBS Conference. 475-478.

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Updated | 11.08.2016      Facebook logo  Twitter
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