The 30th International Seating Symposium

Hello Everyone! The 30th Annual International Seating Symposium started on Tuesday at the Westin Bayshore in downtown Vancouver. This conference is held every 2 years in Vancouver and is a fabulous event for anyone interested in wheelchair seating and mobility. The conference consists of a huge exhibition hall, poster presentations, pre-symposium courses, paper presentations and instructional sessions. So far it has been a great event with some truly inspirational speakers. Although it has been a long couple days, I thought I would post some of the new/newer products that I have had a chance to check out so far.

The first product I would like to present to you is the Progeo manual rigid wheelchairs. These are carbon fiber wheelchairs that are lightweight and incredibly streamlined in their appearance. Dave Elder from Advanced Mobility Products brought these wheelchairs to my attention. The Progeo wheelchairs were made in Italy and are not quite yet available in Canada. Hopefully soon though as these chairs look quite promising!

Stealth Products has developed a new “Mini Proportional Joystick” (which is a nice, easy to remember name). The shape, size and design of this product really stood out to me. The flat top with the built up sides made it easy to position and rest my index finger over top. When directing the joystick, the built up edges really helped to maintain positioning and steer with accuracy. Often times with other joysticks on the market, it can be difficult for clients to keep their fingers in place as they can often slip off the small topper. Stealth informed me that they can also rubber coat their joystick for added grip, which was definitely a nice feature. Different levels of resistance in this joystick are also available.

Stealth displayed their iDrive Diagnostic system that can be used to calibrate their joystick.  Another issue with other products on the market are that they are at times difficult to orient properly for the client. This can at times make trials quite difficult.

Comfort Company will be releasing a new backrest called the Acta-Relief Back very soon. This backrest is quite innovative, light weight and easily adjustable. The product consists of a metal frame with what they call Boa Reels that are tightened by rotating a dial called the Boa Closure System. Think of when you adjust the time on your watch; you pull out the watch crown (yes, it’s called a watch crown and yes I did happen to google this!) to release the cables/Boa Reels, then click it back in and turn until you have the desired level of support/tension. Et voila! You’ve adjusted the backrest to the back contours of your client! The cover also has a nice stretchy material integrated along the midline of the backrest. This is meant to allow for comfort and pressure relief along the spinous processes. This back was quite comfortable when I tried it out myself! I really liked how it could be adjusted to a client’s back contours. The ease of adjustability was a plus as well!

Advanced Health Care Products (AHC) had a few new items at this years symposium as well.  Body Point was showing off their new mounting extensions for the Evoflex pelvic stabilizer. I’ve used this product once before and found that it was a bit difficult to mount and position in the right position for the client without some added customization. With this new extension/mounting kit, these issues will likely be resolved. The only issue might be remembering to order this extra pieces when specifying the Evoflex. The Roho Group also displayed their Agility backrests, which integrates their famous Roho air cells into either the whole back or parts of the back. Definitely a backrest that I keep in mind to trial. The Roho Group very kindly hosted myself and the Access Community Therapists Ltd group in the evening after the symposium. It was a lovely event at the Fish House in Stanley Park. It was a pleasure meeting the Roho team! Thanks again for a great evening!

Ki Mobility will be releasing a new tilt in space manual wheelchair. This is a nice looking base with a high degree of adjustability. In Canada, it is projected to fall somewhere in the middle of the cost hierarchy (possibly somewhere falling in between the cost of an SR 45 and an Iris), however, this has yet to be confirmed. The selling points of this base is the smart tilt function, which is a smooth tilt mechanism that does not require weight in the chair and its reported durability. They pitch this base as a heavy duty, durable base that is meant to withstand a heavy user or client who presents with strong movement patterns. There are options for dynamic back canes as well as dynamic footrests. Although it is always hard to say how a new wheelchair base will compare to others, or stand up over time;  it does seem like it could be a strong competitor in the market!

Unfortunately, it is getting quite late and it will be an early start tomorrow morning at the ISS. That means that I will have to share the rest of my photos with you in my next post. I hope you found these points helpful though! Thanks again for reading and checking in!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

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JAECO

Hello Everyone! I hope you had a great weekend. To start your week, I would like to share with you a product called the JAECO. This product is really cool and was shown to me by James Cooper from Priority Posture Systems Ltd. James has the only demo model of this product in Western Canada and I was super excited to see it in action! The JAECO is essentially a dynamic orthosis or exoskeleton that can enhance a client’s upper limb function by assisting them against gravity. The system can be mounted on a wheelchair or even a table top and is secured to the client’s arm with strapping. The JAECO can be adjusted to meet the client’s needs through the number of blue elastic bands added onto each part of the system. Check out the photos below!

James has informed me that he has set up this product for clients with various conditions including Muscular Dystrophy and Spinal Cord Injury (Quadriplegia). It has helped clients with a variety of functional activities including eating and drinking independently and even with work based activities such as computer work or other table top tasks. As you can imagine, a product like this could greatly improve a client’s independence and function. Definitely an interesting product worth a trial for the right client!

Thanks for reading!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

Custom Foam-in-Box System with Custom Rigid Pelvic Saddle

Happy Friday Everyone! I hope everyone had a great winter holiday. This has been a hectic week back. Lots of appointments and everyone getting back into the swing of things. I also have a UBC student with me for the next 5 weeks. She is the 3rd student I have taken in my career as an OT. I always enjoy having company on my visits and I think it is an honor to be able to show others what I do. OT is such a diverse career and I strongly recommend taking students no matter what field you are working in. Not only is the experience great for the student, but I also learn a lot about what’s new in the field and it keeps me on my toes when they ask me questions about why I make the clinical decisions I make. So, if you can, please take students! UBC has also made a blog as a resource for fieldwork educators. Click here if you would like to check it out!

Today, I thought I would share with you a custom foam-in-box seating system that was fabricated by Chad Kania at Ability Health Care. This client has many fixed joint deformities and is essentially fixed at 40 degrees of hip flexion. In order to function and drive a power wheelchair, this client needed to be positioned upright. For obvious reasons, keeping this client upright was difficult as there was very limited sitting surface available, which would result in a tendency to slide down on the system. In order to accommodate this, a custom rigid saddle was constructed.

One large moulding bag was used to capture the system as the client was quite petite. Trunk laterals as well as pelvic laterals were made from the mould to provide midline guidance. The pelvic saddle was then constructed by contouring the moulding bags under the client’s buttocks to ensure that enough sitting surface could be captured and made. The rigid pelvic bar with a front extension was then created with a mounting post that is secured at the bottom of the seat. The rigid pelvic bar/saddle was mounted at the bottom seat in order to create a rigid, almost continuous sitting surface from the front and back of the client’s pelvis.

This client has been very happy with the system and reports that they are quite comfortable and rarely slide downwards anymore. One issue that came up was the compression of the foam in the seat as all of the client’s weight is held by the saddle seat. The seat needed to be re-foamed and blake medical gel will be added for extra comfort and pressure relief.

I hope you enjoyed reading about this system. Hope you have a great weekend everyone!

Thanks for checking in today!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

Sunrise Medical Quickie Tilt in Space Wheelchairs

Happy Friday Everyone! It’s snowing here in Vancouver and it’s the weekend before Christmas! Although it makes commuting a bit of a challenge in this city, I’m kind of hoping some of it will stick around over the holiday. Today, I thought I would post on the new Quickie tilt-in-space manual wheelchair, the SR 45. This wheelchair has been out for about a year or so and has been marketed as a lower end version of the Quickie Iris, which is one of the best tilt-in-space manual wheelchairs available on the market. The Quickie Iris is a great base to work with as there is so much adjustability, flexibility and real estate on the frame, which makes it easier to mount  seating components and is also great for setting up full custom fabricated seating systems.

As for the the SR45, this wheelchair replaced the Tilt FX , which had a similar rotation in space mechanism  as the Iris but was not the same quality as their “Intelligent Rotation in Space Technology”. This technology has now been added to the SR 45 as well as many more features that are similar to the Iris. Despite the marked improvements made on the SR 45 model and the added “Intelligent Rotation in Space Technology” on this model, Sunrise has also decided to  price this model in close range to the PDG Fuze T5o, the Orion II or even the Invacare Concept 45. So now the question is, what’s the difference between these two wheelchairs? Since the SR45 is so much cheaper than the Iris, but has the same tilt technology and very similar features, funders may lean towards a more economical model. In any case, here is a quick break down of the differences:

QUICKIE SR 45:

–  0-45 degrees of tilt (no other ranges available and cannot add anterior tilt for transfers or eating/swallowing positioning)

Weight capacity is 265 lbs, with no heavy duty option, max width is also 20 inches.

75 degree front rigging, no available contracture hangers (might be an issue for clients with very tight hamstrings)

Lowest seat-to-floor height is 14 inches (keep in mind for clients who need a specific seat-to-floor height for standing transfers or access issues)

-Limited colour selection

-Base is made in Mexico and is made of  steel (Although the weight differences are minimal, this model is likely a slight be heavier)

-Base price is $2795.00

QUICKIE Iris:

Free growth kit (for width growth) within the first 5 years

Dynamic back option available on this model only

Variety of tilt ranges, with the standard range being 0-55 degrees.

Weight capacity is 250 lbs, also has a heavy duty option with a weight capacity of 350 lbs 

Various front rigging options

Lowest seat to floor height is 12.5 inches

-Larger colour selection

-Base is made in California and is aluminum

-Base price is $4075.00

Overall, the improvements made on the SR45 are great. Although it may make justifying an Iris a bit more difficult, it is a great economical option in comparison to other available models on the market.  I hope this breakdown is helpful for all of you. I would like to thank Carla Carrico from Motion Specialties, Jeff Ducklow from Ability Health Care and Tara from Sunrise Medical for helping me break down the differences between these two wheelchairs.

Also, FYI, Access is hosting an Introduction to Assessment and Management of Eating, Drinking and Swallowing Disorders: A Clinical Approach workshop on February 28th and March 1st. Check out the Access website for more information if you are interested!

If you are off next week, I hope you have a wonderful holiday! Thanks for checking in.

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

Custom Seating Techniques in a Nutshell!

Hello Everyone. Sorry for the late post this week. It has been a super busy week. On November 29th and 30th, Access Community Therapists Ltd. held another “Seating and Positioning in the Community: Practical Applications” workshop at Motion Specialties. It was a great 2 days and once again, we thank our client educators for coming in to help with the course. Check out some fun photos below! Right after the course, I made a trip up North to Smithers, Kitimat and Terrace for 4 days. It was a busy trip in -20 degree weather with windchill! Luckily, I was mostly inside completing assessments and equipment specs and trials…with the exception of one outdoor power wheelchair trial BRRRRR!

After my trip, I came back to an in-house workshop for the Access team. The workshop was led by our seating gurus Jo-Anne Chisholm and Joanne Yip. At this workshop we had a chance to review seating implications for clients with Developmental Disabilities (also termed Intellectual Disabilities) and reviewed different custom seating fabrication techniques. The course was held at Ability Health Care and it was a fab day! Here is a summary and review of the different custom fabrication techniques:

FOAM IN BOX

Foam-in-Box is a custom seating fabrication technique where moulding bags are used to capture the shape of a client in the desired position. The moulding bags are filled with beads and feel a lot like a bean bag chair. The moulding bags are set up in a custom cut box, which will eventually become the frame of the seating system (i.e. seat pan, backrest board as well as the pelvic laterals and trunk laterals). Once the client is seated in the system, the moulding bags are held and manipulated into the desired position around the client. Once everything is in place, the seating technician pumps the air out of the bag to capture the shape of the client. Once a good capture has been taken and the client is transferred out of the system and the technician takes the molding bag and plasters and casts the shape of the bag. Once the cast is set and hardens, it is taken off of the bag and filled with liquid foam that also eventually hardens. This is what makes the insert for the seat. Trimming and modifying of the insert is then done to create a streamlined and functional system. Foam-in-box can be used to create cushions and backrest or entire systems. This technique allows a clinician to accommodate a client’s complex posture and can also be used to correct a client’s posture. Also, the moulding bags have wings on the sides that are used to mould custom contoured/shaped laterals. Although this technique can accommodate for very complex spinal curvatures, foam-in-place is another custom fabrication technique that can be more suitable for accommodating very pronounced spinal curvatures and body contours.

FOAM IN PLACE

Foam-in-place is a technique that involves pouring liquid foam behind a client to capture the shape of a client’s back. This is a great technique for accommodating complex curvatures of the spine. The photos below show the fabrication process with our volunteer model, Trevor! Foam-in-place inserts can be mounted onto a custom cut wood board, a custom curved/moulded plastic shell (as seen in demo), or even onto a commercial backrest shell. Spot pours can also be done to fill in contours on an existing backrest, or be done to create custom shaped laterals. Keep in mind that when fabricating this sort of system, it is important to have the other seating components in place as you will be capturing the client in the position that you hold/support them in. Also, as the foam grows, it can sometimes push a client into an undesired position such as an increased lordosis. In these cases, abdominal supports can be helpful during the pour.

CARVED FOAM

Carved foam seating is a great technique that offers a lot of angular support. Carved foam seating can incorporate custom sized ischial blocks, obliquity build-ups, leg troughing and back contouring. Carved foam systems can appear quite simple, but offer a high degree of control and correction. These systems can also be made to include pressure relieving products such as Roho insert or gel overlays (such as Action or Blake Medical gel overlays).

CUSTOM PLASTIC BACKRESTS

Ability Health Care offers 2 types of plastic backrests. They have a lightweight custom moulded backrest, which is fabricated by casting the client’s back. They also have a new backrest where they create a custom shell by designing the size and shape create a custom contour. Ability formerly used to make their lightweight version from ABS, however, they were finding that the material wasn’t as durable as they had anticipated. They have now started using an aerospace plastic that is much more durable, but is also still light weight. This is ideal for manual wheelchair users needing a higher degree of contouring and support and has been commonly made for clients with spinal cord injury. When fabricating this backrest, it is ideal that the client be seated on the cushion that they will be using with this backrest to ensure that the contours are accurate.  Ability Health Care has also developed a tilt table that allows a client to be positioned at the desired level of dump during the casting process. Pretty neat!

Below are some pictures of the custom contoured backrest. This backrest is made by a CNC machine that cuts out a custom designed shape that is drawn by the technician. Once the shape of the shell is cut out, the backrest is curved to the appropriate level of contour needed for the client and foam is glued onto the shell. Foam-in-place can also be used to create the insert if more custom contouring is needed. This backrest is not light, but is quite durable and would be ideal for a client who is quite hard on their equipment.

MORE CUSTOM ITEMS

In addition to the custom seating techniques, Ability Health Care can also fabricate custom commodes, custom toilet seats, alternate positioning devices and custom power wheelchair drive controls. In the photo below, Jeff Ducklow fabricated a custom “wafer board”, which was a drive control that was discontinued, but still needed by a client. Jeff was able to fabricate a system using an ABS plate with buddy buttons. A really nice looking drive control that will definitely work well for his client. Also, Ability informed us that Helio is now making depth adjustable backcanes, which is a great feature for clients needing custom seating components.

A special thanks to Russ, Chad, Jeff, Trevor and Mariska  at Ability Health Care for hosting the Access team!

Thanks for checking in today and for reading is rather long post!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

Thoraco Lumbar Sacral Orthosis (TLSO) as a Seating Modality

Happy Wednesday Everyone! I wanted to share with you a custom fabricated Thoraco Lumbar Sacral Orthosis (TLSO) that was fabricated by Alan Keith Valley Orthocare in Surrey, BC. This back brace was made for a client with C5 complete spinal cord injury. This client had  very limited trunk control and had been using a custom fabricated ABS backrest for a while with a chest strap, however, due to the flexibility of her spine, these components still did not provide adequate control and support. This made it difficult for the client to establish appropriate sitting balance for functional activities, it made it difficult to manually self propel in a manual wheelchair and also resulted in constant and severe nerve pain.

This TLSO was fabricated by casting the client’s trunk in the desired position. Alan Keith, Orthotist, then fabricated the brace from the contours taken from the cast. Several follow-up appointments were made to adjust and tweek the brace. For example, the bottom of the TLSO was trimmed back to allow the client to lean forwards for transfers and for off loading for pressure relief. The top of the brace was flared for added comfort. Sheepskin pads was added as the client was developing redness at the back of the pelvis over her PSIS. In addition, foam pads were added to allow for additional clearance of the spinous processes, which were also prone to pressure if the brace moved slightly out of place.  See the photos below.

Overall, the client using the brace has reported improvements with regards to nerve pain, sitting balance, ability to self-propel and function. It is important to note that if a TLSO is suitable for a client, the wheelchair seating must be adjusted to accommodate the brace. Also, it is important to note that a TLSO only really provides support and control for the trunk. What I found was that although the TLSO worked beautifully for this client, we ended up lacking support and control at the pelvis, which was resulting in the client falling into posterior pelvic tilt and falling into obliquity (right side higher). I will now be exploring custom cushion options with this client and will likely be trialing a Ride Custom cushion as this will likely be the best way to maintain her pelvic positioning while also preventing the risk for skin breakdown.

Thanks for checking in today!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

Custom Modifications to Commercial Seating

Hello Everyone! I hope everyone had a great long weekend. I thought I would share some custom modifications to commercial wheelchair seating products. Often we use custom fabrication techniques to meet a client’s complex postural needs, however, it’s important to remember that commercial products can also be modified in a variety of different ways. Modifying equipment that a client already has can be a very cost effective option. Often times, simply making custom additions or changes with regards to set-up can make a huge difference to a client’s posture, comfort and function. The client that I was working with here has C5 Quadriplegia. He has a power wheelchair and commercial seating products but was feeling like he was collapsing forward through his trunk. This was affecting comfort, physical appearance and his ability to work on his computer. Another issue was that if his trunk fell forwards onto his lap when traveling in the community he wasn’t able to reach his tilt switch on his joystick. This was a concern as he needs to tilt back to re-position himself back upright independently. After completing a seating assessment and review, the following changes were made to his system: The custom modifications here, were completed by Wahbi at Advanced Mobility Products Ltd. The photos below are of a Jay 3 Backrest. Foam (I love foam!) was added to the lumbar region to improve contouring and support. In addition, the top of the backrest was heated and flared back to allow for more clearance for the client’s scapulae and upper back. Once the top of the backrest was flared, the headrest mount was spaced out to clear the top of the backrest.

The client’s armrest were also raised by 3 inches. This required custom armrest post extensions that were fabricated by Advanced Mobility.  This allowed the client to support himself  more upright by propping with his elbows. An Action gel overlay was added for pressure relief at his elbows. These were secured with velcro and could be removed by the client so that he can use them at his computer desk. The gel was originally covered, however, this made them too slippery.

In order to address the issue with access to the tilt function, a buddy button was added to the bottom of his seat pan. When this client fell forwards onto his trunk, he was easily able to reach under the seat pan to access the tilt switch. This made a significant difference for him as he would no longer need to wait for help if he ever lost positioning when traveling in the community independently.

This client also uses the back canes to hook his arms onto for support. The back canes here were cut, angled out and re-welded to allow the client hook his arms around the back with more ease. Thanks again to Advanced Mobility for the great custom modifications. I hope you enjoyed reading about this case today. I would love to hear about your creative modifications to the seating systems you are working on. Please feel free to comment or post about anything interesting you have done out there. I would love to hear about them! Thanks again for checking in.

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

Common Postures in Seating

Hello Everyone! Here is a video on common postural terms used in wheelchair seating assessment. Although some of you may use variations of these terms, hopefully this video still helps as a quick reference! Please feel free to send me any feedback on these videos or even requests for other video topics. I would be happy to try put something together if it can be helpful to anyone out there. Thanks again to my talented friends, Desy Cheng, Kyle Hay and Jeremy Jude Lee at Vanmedia.

Thanks for checking in today! Seating is Super!

Cheryl

Motion Specialties Grand Opening

Hello Everyone! Happy Wednesday! Yesterday Motion Specialties had their grand opening at their new location on North Fraser Way in Burnaby. It was a fun event with equipment demo sales, a power wheelchair obstacle course, contests and prizes and some great manufacturer exhibit booths. FYI, they will be honoring their special demo prices for the next couple weeks. So, if you have a client with limited funding, contact Motion ASAP to see if they have anything available that might work for a client of yours! I love looking at demo equipment as I often have clients who need equipment that may not be eligible for funding. At a discounted rate, however, some funders may be willing to provide funds if the needs are there. On another note, here are a few seating related highlights from the event!

NXT (pronounced “Next”) by Dynamic Health Care Solutions displayed their new lateral supports. Its a swing away style lateral support that has an additional anterior pad. This is a neat design and the hardware is quite adjustable in length. Because of the rigidity of the anterior support, it might be an option for a client who requires more support than chest strap can provide. In the second picture, note that there is a blue lever that releases the swing away mechanism. This was a really innovative mechanism that could be easier for some clients to release themselves. This would need to be trialed to determine suitability of course, but still a really neat idea!

NXT also debuted 3 new foam cushions: the Bio Fit, the Nu Fit and the Kul Fit. These are mild contoured foam cushions. All of the cushions are made with foam with antibacterial properties. The Bio Fit has a layer of Blue Visco Gel foam that helps to reduce heat build up and also has perforations for increased comfort and softness at the seat area. The Nu Fit cushion is similar in feel to the Bio Fit, but only has a soft foam overlay rather than the gel infused foam overlay. The last cushion was the Kul Fit cushion. This was a very interesting cushion as it was made out of breathable reticulated foam. This foam is quite spongy in feel and allows liquids to pass right though it. This would be great for a client with incontinence issues and needs to wash their cushion frequently. It was quite comfortable to sit on and was a firmer cushion relative to the others. I would be interested in pressure mapping this one for sure.

Motion Composites has a new carbon fiber manual wheelchair called the Veloce. This is a very light (8 kg or 18 lbs) folding frame wheelchair with a sporty, streamlined design. It is a chair that is designed to fall between the manual folding frames and a rigid manual. This wheelchair was easy to maneuver and self-propel.  I definitely have clients that manually self-propel, but still need a mobility device that can be folded for transport so, this might be a great option for them! I also really liked the flip up style footplate. This design is not available on most rigid frame wheelchairs, which can be an issue for some clients who need to stand to transfer. Although this isn’t a rigid wheelchair, the weight and design of the wheelchair might make this wheelchair somewhat comparable. I’m looking forward to trialing this one soon to see how it really performs.

Invacare brought 3 cushions to demo at the grand opening. The first was the Matrx PSVF cushion or “Posture Seat Visco Foam” cushion. This is a super soft foam cushion with some mild contouring. This cushion was designed specifically for optimal comfort. They also had the new Stabilite cushion, which had a “Thinair” bladder for added pressure relief. This cushion also had rigidizers on the sides that help to prevent the cushion from slinging on an upholstered seat. This was a firm, but comfortable cushion that had a mild to moderate contour. The last cushion was the Matrx Flovair, which had the “Thinair” bladder as well as a fluid gel overlay. The fluid gel is meant to reduce shear, while the “Thinair” bladder is meant to reduce peak pressures. The Flovair and Stabilite cushions were reported to pressure map better than the Matrx Vi line. I have yet to pressure map these myself, but I could see these cushions working well for a client requiring a firm supportive surface for sitting, some contouring, but also would benefit from added pressure relief.

Invacare also had their powered Aquatec Ocean E-VIP commode on display. This is an ideal commode for caregivers as the seat elevates making it much easier for peri care. They also debuted their “Special Soft Seat“. This is a new product, not to be confused with their “soft seat”. This product would be ideal for clients who require extra pressure relief due to either high risk for skin breakdown or long bowel routines.

I hope this post was helpful for anyone who wasn’t able to make it. Thanks again for checking in!

Seating is Super!

Cheryl

Workshops, Whitehorse and Wheeling

Hello Everyone! Happy Monday! Last week was a busy week for Access Community Therapists Ltd. We held the “Seating and Positioning in the Community: Practical Applications” workshop at Motion Specialties in Burnaby on September 27th and 28th. Despite the torrential rains on Friday and Saturday, it was a great turn out and we had a lot of fun practicing landmarking, mat and sitting assessments and even got to work with some volunteer clients.  Here are some photos from the day. FYI, we are hosting the course again on November 29th and 30th. If you would like to register for the course, check out the Access website.

After the workshop, Jo-Anne Chisholm and I left for Whitehorse, YT. Yes, that’s right! Whitehorse in the Yukon Territories! Access Community Therapists does a seating clinic up there every 2-3 years. It’s an exciting and busy week. It feels almost like a seating marathon of sorts! On this trip, the technicians from Priority Posture Systems Ltd came with us to fabricate the seating systems and to complete various seating modifications for clients with quite complex needs. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a chance to take many photos on this trip, but here is one system that we did. It’s a planar foam “I” shaped backrest  with asymmetrical swing away trunk laterals and carved cushion with ischial block and built in pommel. This system also has an arcufit-style positioning belt and i2i headrest. What was quite interesting about this case, was that we originally spec’d a foam in place backrest. Unfortunately, when trying to fabricate the system, the foam in place could not hold the clients’ posture. We instead needed to proceed with a planar foam back, which provided much more support and control.

I’ve been meaning to post this up for a while now. Sorry for the delay! 2 weeks ago, we received a short presentation By Krista Best and Kate Keetch (Associates of Bill Miller from UBC) on wheelchair skills and the importance of teaching our clients how to improve their wheeling skills. Although most of the clients we see are long time wheelchair users, I definitely saw the benefit in wheelchair skills training. The benefits to our clients included things like, improved community access, shoulder preservation and improved posture and positioning when wheeling. During the presentation, we were offered a chance to try doing a wheelie. To keep us, or I should probably say “me” safe, 2 bricks were used to prevent the wheelchair from moving or rolling away, and an orange safety strap was secured to the crossbar for added security. This is what it looked like!

For more information on wheelchair skills, visit www.wheelchairskillsprogram.ca. This is a great website with assessment/training forms and research on wheelchair skills.

Thanks for reading! Seating is super!

Cheryl