Education in Motion Blog
Are we all speaking the same language in seating and mobility? Have you heard a wheelchair cushion being called a "pillow" by someone who does not work in this field? Do you call a "wheel lock" a "brake" on a wheelchair or an arm support an "armrest"? Is a pelvic positioning belt the same as a pelvic belt for transportation of occupied wheelchairs? (The answer to this last question is no!) The language of seating and mobility is evolving and, in fact, becoming standardized. Let's take a look at why standardization in terms is important and review a sampling of common terms.
Posted on 9/30/2019
In our previous two blog posts we reviewed the primary differences between proportional & non-proportional drive controls and took a deep dive into non-proportional drive controls. As we wrap up this series, our focus will be on the application of proportional drive controls and examples of several types available today.
Posted on 8/31/2019
Even though proportional drive controls are by far considered to be the most common type of drive controls used to drive power wheelchairs, I believe it is important that we look at non-proportional controls first. Why? Because non-proportional drive controls offer the most basic and simplistic option for activation in terms of motor function, cognition, and overall experience.
Posted on 7/31/2019
Early on in my professional career, it dawned on me how similar learning to drive both an automatic and a manual transmission car was with the process of selecting the proper power mobility device, including the drive controls. In this series of posts, we are going to explore various technologies available in power wheelchair drive controls. In addition, we will take a look at examples of drive controls and review potential applications of each.
Posted on 6/28/2019
There is a plethora of prefabricated (off-the-shelf) wheelchair back supports on the market today. As a clinician, recommending the correct type of back support is only half the battle. Together with your equipment specialist (e.g. RTS, ATP, and/or manufacturer representative) you also need to make sure it is sized and set up appropriately to meet your client's needs.
Posted on 5/30/2019
One of the most frustrating situations for a seating and mobility therapist is to see an active manual propeller reaching back for their rear wheel because the center of gravity setting is in the most rearward position. All ultra lightweight manual wheelchairs allow for center of gravity adjustments. This is accomplished by moving the rear axle forward or backward along the axle plate. The clinical recommendation for active users is to adjust the rear axle as far forward as possible without compromising the stability of the user.
Posted on 4/29/2019
The two primary types or styles of ultra lightweight wheelchair frames are folding (x-frame folding cross brace) and rigid (box or open frame). Within the two overarching groups of ultra lightweight wheelchairs, there are a number of options available in each to lead toward the selection of the most appropriate wheelchair for a user. As a part of the complex rehabilitation technology (CRT) interdisciplinary team, it is important that you have an understanding of how these options could potentially impact a user's ability to propel his/her wheelchair in the most efficient and healthy way possible.
Posted on 3/29/2019
As a member of a seating and mobility team in Long Island, New York, one of the more frustrating occurrences was delivering a wheelchair to a person who waited through the incredibly long justification, approval, and ordering process only to find out that the person had physically changed and the frame of the power wheelchair needed to go back to the dealer to be adjusted. We know that for many of our clients who have waited a very long time, the thought of having to send the wheelchair back to the dealer when delivery is so close is very upsetting for them.
Posted on 2/27/2019
We all agree that the cushion and backrest are a crucial part of an end-user's mobility equipment. The cushion and backrest come into direct contact with the user's skin, it is the interface between the person and the mobility base and therefore its selection cannot be taken lightly.
Posted on 1/29/2019
Whether you are just peeking behind the curtain into the world of complex rehabilitation technology (CRT), preparing to sit for the Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) exam, or you are a full-blown wheelchair nerd with years of experience, it is essential to have resources available to help improve your knowledge so you can help provide better outcomes for your clients.
Posted on 12/28/2018
One of the areas that has evolved greatly over the years has been the way in which a user accesses the drive control of the power wheelchair. The creation of alternative drive controls such as head arrays, switches, mini-proportional joysticks, etc. have all opened up the world of independence through power mobility to individuals who are not able to use a standard joystick. However, there are some circumstances in which utilizing a standard joystick is preferred for a variety of reasons.
Posted on 11/30/2018
This month, we will focus on tilt wheelchairs and how the mechanism of tilt affects the base of support, including the overall wheelbase of the wheelchair, potential center of gravity displacement, and the effort required to move a person in and out of tilt.
Posted on 10/24/2018
Typically, for full-time power wheelchair users, we look to power seat functions to reduce skin risk, create rest, provide relief, and increase comfort. But how do we know what to recommend to our clients? The research tells us a few key facts.
Posted on 9/26/2018
The reality is that teamwork is a concept we are introduced to as children and which continues to be an essential part of not only our personal lives, but also our professional careers. The world of complex rehabilitation technology (CRT) is no exception. When it comes to evaluating, recommending, and obtaining the proper seating system and wheeled mobility device for a client, it is vital and in some cases required that a multidisciplinary team approach be utilized.
Posted on 8/24/2018
Switches can give clients with physical limitations the ability to control almost anything including communication devices, iPads, power wheelchairs, environmental control devices, and more. Having an understanding of the categories of switches will help you select the best switch or combination of switches for each individual client.
Posted on 8/16/2018
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