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  • Occupational Therapists
  • Occupational Therapy Assistants
Hours: 3 Contact Hours
Author(s): Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS
Peer Reviewer(s): Kerri Morgan, PhD, OTR/L, ATP
Item#: I6370
Contents: 1 Course Book (102 pages)
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Introduction to Wheelchair Seating and Positioning: Considerations in Occupational & Physical Therapy Practice

Price $29.95
Item # I6370
When available, the Online Course format is included with the hard copy, eBook, or audio book formats!

Expiration Date: February 3, 2019

This course provides the occupational and physical therapy practitioner with a broad overview of the assessment and provision of wheelchair seating. This course is written at a basic-to-intermediate level for the occupational or physical therapist that has little or no experience in this specialized practice area. Many people require the use of a wheelchair for dependent or independent mobility, and each wheelchair provides some form of seating. Wheelchair seating directly affects a client’s position which, in turn, affects function for all of that person’s daily tasks.  It is essential that occupational and physical therapists be able to competently participate as a member of the team in determining the optimal seating and wheeled mobility interventions for a particular client. Common diagnoses that a client using a wheelchair may have include cerebral palsy, spinal cord injury, traumatic brain injury, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophies. 

This course systematically reviews wheelchair seating considerations, beginning with assessment. A key part of seating assessment is the mat examination, which helps determine where and at what angles a client needs postural support for optimal alignment, pressure distribution and relief to prevent the development of pressure ulcers. Body positioning is critical; the body should be positioned to support the task that needs to be accomplished. Clients often must find both a position of rest and a position suitable for functional or task performance within the same seating system. The course explores available seating system categories and materials and describes specific seating challenges, including their causes, goals, and suggested interventions.

AOTA Content Focus - Occupational Therapy Process: Evaluation, Assessment, Intervention




Course Objectives

  • Describe the steps in a seating assessment
  • Identify types of seating systems
  • Describe the clinical considerations in selecting seating systems
  • List common positioning challenges and strategies for seated mobility
  • Describe specific applications for seated mobility

Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS, is an occupational therapist with more than 25 years of experience in the area of assistive technology. She is the former clinical director of the assistive technology clinics of Children’s Hospital Colorado. Now in private practice, Ms. Lange evaluates and treats children and adults with a variety of diagnoses and provides consultation and education in the areas of wheelchair seating and mobility, accessibility, assistive technology access, mounting, interfacing, and electronic aids to daily living. She is a well-respected lecturer who presents live educational programs and webinars nationally and internationally, and has authored four book chapters and nearly 200 articles. Ms. Lange is the editor of Fundamentals in Assistive Technology, 4th ed., and clinical editor of Directions magazine, a publication of the National Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers (NRRTS). She is on the teaching faculty of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). A past member of both the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on the Wheeled Mobility Advisory Board and current member of the Clinician’s Task Force, Ms. Lange is a certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP), certified Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS) and is a Senior Disability Analyst of the American Board of Disability Analysts (ABDA).

Kerri Morgan, PhD, OTR/L, ATP, is an occupational therapist and a certified assistive technology professional. Dr. Morgan completed both a master’s degree in occupational therapy and her PhD in movement science at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. She currently works in Washington University’s Program in Occupational Therapy, where she teaches a graduate-level class on assistive technology and conducts research on the movement patterns of people with disabilities, with the goal of guiding community-based and person-based interventions that improve the participation of people with lower-limb mobility impairments. In addition to assisting in the development of a wheelchair seating clinic, Dr. Morgan has helped develop and test standardized measures that assess a person’s quality of participation in major life activities and the environmental facilitators and barriers impacting participation. She also helped create a community-based program housed in a local independent-living center that provides services for people with disabilities (such as assistive technology education and delivery programs). An avid wheelchair athlete, Dr. Morgan has been a member of both the U.S. National Quad Rugby Team and the U.S. Paralympic Track team.

  • Courses must be completed on or before the expiration date noted in the course description above.
  • You must score 75% or higher on the final exam and complete the course evaluation to pass this course and receive a certificate of completion.
  • Through our review processes, Western Schools ensures that the course content is presented in a balanced, unbiased manner and is free from commercial influence. It is Western Schools’ policy not to accept commercial support.
  •  All persons involved in the planning and development of this course have disclosed no relevant financial relationships or other conflicts of interest related to the course content.
  • There are no prerequisites for this course.
  • Michelle Lange has disclosed that she makes presentations on behalf of manufacturers of seating and mobility equipment, including Stealth Products, and consults on the development of webinar and live educational content with several organizations, including NRRTS, RESNA, and Numotion. Western Schools ensures that this content is free from bias and commercial influence through its peer review process.