Prestigious awards presented during NRRTS Open Meeting

NRRTS held its first virtual Annual Open Meeting on Wednesday, October 28th. Gerry Dickerson, NRRTS President and long-time board member welcomed everyone to a “night of introductions, updates, information, and fun”.

Bill Noelting’s video short story, “Connection” was featured during the meeting. “Connection”   begins to explore and understand the relationship, or connection that exists between wheelchair users and their wheelchairs told through firsthand accounts and observations.

Almost 100 people tuned in virtually as NRRTS Executive Director and staff members shared the success of NRRTS during the last year. Some of the topics included NRRTS Registrant update, NRRTS Education, NRRTS website and Learning Management System, DIRECTIONS, and a special “Thank you” to our Charter FONs, Corporate FONS, Individual FONS, and other supporters.

During the meeting, a new Complex Rehab Technology Supplier Program was unveiled. The Complex Rehabilitation Technology (CRT) Program is designed to build solid foundational knowledge and skills in CRT.  The program is currently being written and developed with input from a team of CRT experts, educational specialists, and instructional designers. Course 1, The Intro, will be available by year end.

NRRTS announced the partnership with Canadian Assistive Device Association (CADA). CADA’s mission is to raise the bar for CRT Suppliers. A NRRTS Canada Advisory Board has been appointed. This group of CRT Stakeholders will oversee the educational content for Canada.

A highlight of the meeting was the presentation of special awards Distinguished Service Award and Simon Margolis Fellowship. The NRRTS Consumer Advocate of the Year Award was presented earlier in the year to Jenny Seigle.

The Distinguished Service Award was presented to Tom Simon, ATP, CRTS®. The Simon Margolis Fellowship was presented to Mike Barner, ATP, CRTS® and Weesie Walker, ATP/SMS.

If you get an email from Tom Simon, you will see this message: “Improving the lives of people with disabilities by enabling them to actively participate in everyday life.”

Tom, the recipient of this year’s Distinguished Service Award, lives out this quote daily in his interactions with the people he serves. He does not seek accolades for his accomplishments and is a quiet leader who listens well. He has been a NRRTS Registrant since 2007 and a member of the NRRTS board since 2018.

In the state of Texas, he attends MDA camps, Abilities Expos and the Access2CRT Summit (formerly National CRT Conference) annually. Tom works for Numotion.

Mike Barner was surprised to hear his name announced and grateful for the recognition for his service. “Thank you all so very much for the honor of receiving such a prestigious award.  I really don’t have the words to express how much this means to me and how proud I am to receive it from such an amazing group of friends and colleagues who I deeply respect and admire for what you do every day in CRT fighting the fight for our patients and consumers.

It truly makes me emotional to think of this award and who it represents, Mr. Simon Margolis.  He was a great friend, mentor, and hero to me. He was and is the reason why I became a part of this great, amazing, and frustrating industry. It was his passion and what he believed in, and that spilled over to a young, dumb, guy that caught that passion for the people we all serve.”

Weesie Walker, NRRTS Executive Director is a NRRTS Fellow, but the honor was presenter to her before the Simon Margolis Fellow was created. As a dedicated supplier and leader in the Complex Rehab Technology Industry, Weesie is well-respected for her connections and knowledge.

“NRRTS has been part of my professional career for over 25 years. I first met Simon Margolis at the Seating Symposium in Memphis. His vision of an organization that gave Seating and Mobility suppliers an identity was a game changer. His passion and dedication were infectious! He inspired us to be ever mindful of NRRTS’ place in the CRT Industry. By holding Registrants to a standard of practice, he knew that consumers were likely to get a better outcome.

It is a great honor to receive this award given in his memory.”

The uplifting tone of the meeting made it a huge success. We look forward to seeing what’s in store for NRRTS 2021.