Making Power Wheelchairs Smarter


Date: 11/16/22

Credit: .1 CEU

Speakers: Michelle Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS and Jean Minkel, PT, ATP

Sponsored by LUCI

Intermediate Level, Best Business Practice, ATP/SMS Prep Content



A Smart Wheelchair provides features beyond what current power wheelchairs offer. Smart technologies may include sensors that warn the driver of potential hazards, such as obstacles or tipping risk on a steep incline. Some sensors are integrated into the PWC electronics to prevent collisions by assisting with steering and speed as well as prevent a PWC from going off a curb outside. Smart wheelchairs can connect with the external environment, such as sending notifications to a caregiver’s smartphone. This technology may also monitor, record, and report data such as weight shifts and health information. It’s a whole new world!

Learning Outcomes:

The participant will be able to define smart technologies in the context of power wheelchairs.

The participant will be able to list 3 goals of power wheelchair smart technologies.

The participant will be able to describe 3 clinical applications of power wheelchair smart technologies

Michelle is an occupational therapist with 35 years of experience and has been in private practice, Access to Independence, for over 15 years. She is a well-respected lecturer, both nationally and internationally and has authored numerous texts, chapters, and articles. She is the co-editor of Seating and Wheeled Mobility: a clinical resource guide, editor of Fundamentals in Assistive Technology, 4th ed., NRRTS Continuing Education Curriculum Coordinator and Clinical Editor of NRRTS Directions magazine. Michelle is a RESNA Fellow and member of the Clinician Task Force. Michelle is a certified ATP, certified SMS and is a Senior Disability Analyst of the ABDA.

Jean is a physical therapist and master clinician well recognized for her work in Assistive Technology. She is currently the Senior Vice President of Rehab and Mobility Services at ICS – Independence Care System, where she leads On A Roll, an OT/PT private practice specializing in Seating and Wheeled Mobility services. She is a published author, including many peer reviewed journal articles and most recently, she co-edited, with Michelle Lange, the newly published textbook, Seating and Wheeled Mobility – a Clinical Resource Guide. The A.T. community has recognized Jean for her contributions by awarding to her, the RESNA Fellow award in 1995 and the Sam McFarland Mentor Award in 2012.