Wheelchair Seating Assessment: A step by step process


Credits: .1 CEU
Presenter: Barbara Crane PT, PhD, ATP/SMS



At the conclusion of this course, participants will understand and be able to implement a step by step wheelchair seating assessment, resulting in much greater potential for success in determining appropriate wheelchair and seating technology for a client. Wheelchair seating assessments are best performed by a team, including the client and caregivers, practitioners working closely with the client, and technology experts who will provide appropriate technology to the client at the conclusion of the assessment process. The World Health Organization has defined 8 key “steps” in the service delivery process for wheelchairs and seating, many of which are foundational in all processes, regardless of the location of the service delivery setting and the professionals who might be involved. Successful determination of appropriate wheelchair and seating technology intervention is critically important to the function of the client and is highly dependent on the implementation of a rigorous wheelchair seating assessment process.

Learning Outcomes for this course:
1. List at least 2 reasons why a systematic wheelchair assessment process is critical.
2. Describe the 8 steps of the service delivery process recommended by the World Health Organization related to wheelchairs and seating.
3. Discuss 2 reasons why a mat assessment is a critical component of a wheelchair seating assessment.

Barbara Crane is a Professor of Physical Therapy at the University of Hartford in West Hartford, CT. She received a BS in Physical Therapy from the University of Connecticut, an MA in Human Development/ Gerontology from Saint Joseph College, West Hartford, CT, and a PhD in Rehabilitation Science and Technology from the University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA. She is RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) and Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS). She has over 20 years of clinical experience in adult neurological rehabilitation with a specialty in assessment and recommendation of custom wheelchairs and seating systems. She has lectured extensively at local, national, and international conferences and is a faculty for the RESNA Fundamentals of Assistive Technology course.