An Overview of ISO and RESNA Standards for Wheelchair Seating


Date: 7/21/21 at 11 am ET

Credit: .1 CEU

Speaker: Kara Kopplin, B.Sc.Eng

Sponsored by Permobil

ATP/SMS Prep Content, Medical Terminology, Intermediate Level



For decades, test standards have been developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) to measure and characterize wheelchair seating.  These tests measure critical characteristics of wheelchair cushions, revealing properties that might be suitable for meeting client’s needs for tissue protection and positioning and to enhance the ability to perform MRADLs.

In this presentation, attendees will learn how standards are created, from the national level up to the ISO global level.  An overview of current wheelchair seating standards will be presented in the context of the CPG, demonstrating why the test data can provide insight into cushion selection for the client. Various cushion technologies will be compared using blinded test data from numerous ISO standards to reveal important similarities and differences. Both the benefits and limitations of the test data will be discussed, emphasizing the role of the ISO standards as another set of tools in the clinical reasoning process.

Learning Outcomes:

The participant will be able to describe who develops ISO standards

and how the process works.

The participant will be able to match four or more recommendations from the CPG for pressure injury prevention to ISO test standards.

The participant will be able to analyze blinded test results to consider how the data may be applied to cushion selection.

Kara Kopplin brings a unique and complementary materials engineering perspective to seating solutions. In her role as Director of Regulatory Science for Permobil, Inc., Ms. Kopplin actively contributes to the efforts of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and European Committee for Standardization (CEN) to develop object test methods for wheelchair systems and components. She is honored to chair the ANSI/RESNA Standards Committee on Wheelchair and Related Seating (WRS) in the US and encourages everyone to contribute to the development of these critical evaluation tools.