Seating and Mobility


Occupational therapists practicing in the area of seating and mobility may work in a variety of settings including: hospitals, long term care homes, clinics or increasingly in the community setting.  It’s always a challenge to provide client centered care that is based on current, best practice knowledge, amidst funding cuts and within client various environments. This is a practice area that OTs have the opportunity to really corner the market in - whether through publicly or privately funded avenues.

Arguably one of the more ‘specialized’ areas of practice OTs can choose to work in we hope the following resources add value, knowledge and evidence to practice. They are current in that the majority have been released within the past 3 to 5 years and are very helpful in guiding assessment, helping with problem identification, and providing rationale for OT recommendations. These resources are congruent with the current ADP authorizer agreement (2014). 

Practice Resources
  • Tip:  instead of reading these resources cover to cover, browse through them and look up specific items as needed.  All are available for free download.
Resna

  • The Rehabilitation and Engineering Society of North America (RESNA) is an organization that aims to “maximize the health and well being of people with disabilities through technology”.  They have some excellent position papers on everything from pediatric to adult, ultra light weight wheelchairs to power positioning, and seating for positioning vs. restraint.  They also have a very good position paper on the Wheelchair Service Provision where they describe the roles and responsibilities for the therapist, vendor (sales and technicians), and the patient – all of which can be found in their Knowledge Center.

      “A RESNA Position Paper on Clinical Practice is an official statement by the organization that based on the consensus of experts and evidence summarizes current research and best-practice trends in relevant areas of Assistive Technology. These Position Papers on Clinical Practice, issued by the international professional organization, declare the necessity (medical and/or functional) of specific assistive technology devices and services under appropriate circumstances, and guide practitioners in decision making.”

      www.resna.org

Other Useful Guidelines and Tools


Policy


  • WHO Guidelines on the Provision of Manual Wheelchairs in Less Resourced Settings
    • This document outlines  the eight essential steps in the provision of wheelchairs in less resourced areas.  The intent is to assist WHO Member States to create and develop a local wheelchair provision system and thereby implement Articles 4.20 and 4. 26 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act. 

Assistive Devices Program



The 
Assistive Devices Program (ADP) financially assists Ontario residents with long-term physical disabilities to obtain personalized assistive devices appropriate for the individual's needs and essential for independent living. Occupational therapists may be involved with equipment in this funding program in the categories of communication, orthoses, pressure modification, prostheses, wheelchair, positioning and mobility devices.

ADP Authorizer Status

Most devices must be authorized by a qualified health care professional registered with the program. Authorizers must apply for status and have a minimum 2 years experience and be able to demonstrate experience related to prescription of assistive devices. To apply see ADP Authorizer Application Form or call 1-800-268-6021 or 416-327-8804.  

Be an Informed Practitioner & ADP Authorizer

Working in today’s fast paced, dynamic health care environments it may feel a challenge to stay abreast of incoming information, policy changes and changes in requirements – however it is as paramount as ever to be an informed and conscientious practitioner and ADP authorizer.

Here are a few tips that you may find useful:
Don't hesitate to contact the Assistive Devices Program office at any time with your questions.