Airline travel helps make the world smaller by providing a means to get somewhere faster than other means of travel. Air travel can present some barriers for people who use wheelchairs and it is essential that the wheelchair user or caregiver understand the process. Have you worked with individuals new to a wheelchair? Do they know the procedure for traveling on a commercial airline? Do they know how the wheelchair is stored in the underbelly of the aircraft? As a supplier, therapist, or manufacturer, you can provide information about the process of flying with a wheelchair and protecting the wheelchair. This session will focus on individuals who use a wheelchair and the airline travel process including: legislation for air travel, making a reservation, navigating an airport and security, boarding the aircraft, sitting on the aircraft seat, and stowage of the wheelchair.
The participant will be able to identify 2 items to bring onto the aircraft to use during the flight to increase comfort or assist with functional needs.
The participant will be able to identify 2 ways the consumer can protect the wheelchair before giving it to the below-the-wing service providers.
The participant will be able to identify 2 commercial aircraft types that do not have adequate stowage hatch opening to allow a powered wheelchair to enter the cargo hold in an upright position.
Dr. Jessica Presperin Pedersen has almost 40 years of experience with an expertise in wheelchairs and seating. She has worked in a variety of settings including as a clinician, supplier, manufacturer representative, college professor, and researcher. Jessica works at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab doing research as well as clinical seating intervention. Jessica has a private practice where she provides pre- and post-service education, advocacy, clinical consultation, product development, and legal expertise. Jessica is a RESNA Fellow, serves on boards of Devices4Disabled and Governors State University, is involved in the Illinois OT Association, AOTA, the Clinicians Task Force, the Access Living DME Committee, The Kids Equipment Network, and is a Friend of NRRTS.