Power Wheelchairs: Thinking Beyond the Standard Joystick


Date: 8/23/22

Credit: .1 CEU

Speaker: Kathy Fisher, B.Sc.(OT)

Intermediate Level, Seating and Positioning, ATP/SMS Prep Content



Power wheelchair technology has developed to allow a personalized driving experience to maximize a client’s ongoing functional potential. For many clients a basic joystick is not sufficient to meet their needs in all environments due to limitations in strength, coordination, and fatigue. Many alternative driver controls exist but how do you as a clinician make the best recommendation? This session will highlight these innovations and will present the options based on assessment considerations.

With a background in Occupational Therapy, Kathy has worked as an Assistive Technology Provider and Clinical Educator over the past 32 years. Kathy has been involved in the provision of high technology rehabilitation equipment with clients in a variety of diagnostic categories including pediatrics and bariatrics. Kathy provides clinical education and consultation across Canada in all equipment categories including safe patient handling, bathroom safety, pressure management, seating and mobility. Her main area of interest and expertise is focused on complex rehab, specifically high technology powered mobility and controls.

Learning Outcomes:
Participants will be able to describe 5 assessment considerations in determining potential driver control access.
Participants will be able to list 5 programming parameters that effect the functioning and performance of proportional and non- proportional driver controls.
Participants will be able to list 3 statements illustrating the clinical rationale for selection of driver controls.