As the Wheel Turns: Get Expert Advice Before Buying a WheelchairBy Twardowski, Barbara; Quest, Vol. 18, No. 3
Publication Date: July-September 2011
Article discusses the role of assistive technology specialists in the selection of a wheelchair. Assistive technology professionals (ATPs) are certified by the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) to serve people with disabilities seeking technology to maximize functionality in the home, school, workplace, and community. The ATP is trained to analyze the needs of individuals with disabilities, assist in selecting appropriate equipment, and educate the consumer about proper equipment use. A new certification introduced by RESNA in 2010, seating and mobility specialist (SMS), is a specialty credential which builds on the baseline ATP certification and is meant for those with advanced knowledge and experience in seating and mobility. The article advises engaging the help of an ATP and/or SMS in selecting a new wheelchair, rather than relying solely on vendors of mobility equipment. Also recommended are seeking the advice of other wheelchair users, taking a prospective chair for a test drive, and joining Users First Alliance, an education and advocacy group for wheelchair users, clinicians, and suppliers.
Published by: Muscular Dystrophy Association (Website:http://www.mdausa.org)
Link to text: http://quest.mda.org/article/get-expert-advice-buying-wheelchair