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Wheelchair Power Mobility Assessment: Proportional Driving Methods

presented by Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

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Disclosure Statement:

Financial: Michelle Lange is consultant for Stealth Products which is manufacturer of wheelchair seating and mobility, LUCI- manufacturer of smart wheelchair technology and AbleNet – manufacturer of switches. Michelle Lange receives compensation from MedBridge for this course. There is no financial interest beyond the production of this course.

Non-Financial: Michelle Lange has no competing non-financial interests or relationships with regard to the content presented in this course.

Satisfactory completion requirements: All disciplines must complete learning assessments to be awarded credit, no minimum score required unless otherwise specified within the course.

MedBridge is committed to accessibility for all of our subscribers. If you are in need of a disability-related accommodation, please contact [email protected]. We will process requests for reasonable accommodation and will provide reasonable accommodations where appropriate, in a prompt and efficient manner.

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Video Runtime: 54 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 29 Minutes

Most people who use a power wheelchair use a joystick mounted at the end of one arm pad. However, some people are unable to drive a power wheelchair with this driving method. A wide variety of driving methods are available, including proportional and nonproportional driving methods. This course will present proportional driving methods including standard, compact, heavy duty, and mini proportional joysticks. Mounting options will also be addressed as the driver may need a different joystick placement to drive the power wheelchair. Clinicians need to be familiar with power wheelchair driving methods in order to participate in the evaluation process. This course will present specific power wheelchair proportional driving methods and clinical indicators for each.

Meet Your Instructor

Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

Michelle is an occupational therapist with more than 30 years of experience in the area of assistive technology. She is the former clinical director of the Assistive Technology Clinics of the Children's Hospital of Denver and has been in private practice at Access to Independence, Inc., for more than 15 years. Michelle's work in assistive…

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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1. Standard Joysticks

This chapter will present a definition, clinical indicators, and information about mounting standard joysticks on a power wheelchair. It will also address specific placement, including angles, to best match a client’s needs.

2. Compact and Heavy-Duty Joysticks

This chapter will present a definition, clinical indicators, and information about mounting heavy-duty joysticks on a power wheelchair. Heavy-duty joysticks are sometimes used for clients who exert a great deal of force on the joystick, which would otherwise lead to damage.

3. Mini Proportional Joysticks

This chapter will present a definition and clinical indicators for mini proportional joysticks on a power wheelchair. Mini proportional joysticks require significantly less travel and force to activate, making these appropriate for many people with muscle weakness.

4. Mini Proportional Joystick Mounting

Mini proportional joysticks are often used at the chin or hand. Various mounting options for either location will be presented, along with clinical indicators for each.

More Courses in this Series

Wheelchair Power Mobility Assessment: Determining Readiness

Presented by Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

Wheelchair Power Mobility Assessment: Determining Readiness

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Video Runtime: 58 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 29 Minutes

How do we know a child is ready for a power wheelchair? When is this appropriate, is the child too young, and will there be negative implications to starting power? These are all valid concerns, and yet many children do not receive a power mobility device as soon as clinically indicated. Research has shown that early mobility is critical to development. Clinicians need to be familiar with current research and be able to determine readiness and train a child to use a power mobility device or power wheelchair. This course is particularly applicable to pediatric therapists.

Current research does demonstrate significant and broad developmental benefits of early mobility. Despite this research, many potential barriers to power mobility provision continue. Determining both motor and cognitive readiness for power mobility is critical before moving forward with a formal assessment. Pre-assessment strategies using a manual mobility base, such as an adaptive stroller or manual wheelchair, can be used to determine and develop readiness to successfully use a power mobility device.

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Power Chair Configuration Considerations

Presented by Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

Power Chair Configuration Considerations

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Video Runtime: 57 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 30 Minutes

Not all power wheelchairs are created equal. This course will explain the differences between consumer-level and complex rehab technology (CRT) power wheelchairs. Clinicians need to be familiar with power wheelchair features in order to participate in the evaluation process. CRT power wheelchairs are available in front-, mid-, and rear-wheel drive configurations, each of which has specific clinical advantages for an individual client. Tracking technologies improve driving efficiency by reducing course corrections and time required to move between locations. Finally, power wheelchair suspension has a number of clinical benefits for the clients we work with. These power wheelchair configuration considerations impact final equipment recommendations.

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Wheelchair Power Mobility Assessment: Power Seating

Presented by Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

Wheelchair Power Mobility Assessment: Power Seating

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Video Runtime: 54 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 29 Minutes

Power wheelchairs do more than drive. Power seating allows the driver to change position for pressure relief, pressure redistribution, transfers, and other functional activities. Power tilt changes orientation in space without changing the seated angles. Power recline opens the seat to back angle and is often used in combination with elevating leg rests and sometimes with power tilt. Seat elevate raises the entire seating system vertically without changing the seated angles. Finally, power stand brings the client partially or completely to a standing position within the power wheelchair. This course will present specific power wheelchair power seating options and clinical indicators for each. Clinicians need to be familiar with power wheelchair features, including power seating options, in order to participate in the evaluation process.

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Wheelchair Power Mobility Assessment: Nonproportional Driving Methods

Presented by Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

Wheelchair Power Mobility Assessment: Nonproportional Driving Methods

Subscribe now, and access clinical education and patient education—anytime, anywhere—with video instruction from recognized industry experts.
Video Runtime: 60 Minutes; Learning Assessment Runtime: 29 Minutes

Most people who use a power wheelchair use a joystick; however, some drivers are unable to control a power wheelchair with this driving method. A wide variety of driving methods are available, including proportional and nonproportional driving methods. This course will present nonproportional driving methods, including head-controlled options, sip 'n puff, switch arrays (including mechanical, proximity, and fiber-optic), and eye gaze. Case studies are included. Clinicians need to be familiar with power wheelchair driving methods in order to participate in the evaluation process. This course will present specific power wheelchair nonproportional driving methods and clinical indicators for each.

View full course details

Wheelchair Power Mobility: Mobility Training

Presented by Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

Wheelchair Power Mobility: Mobility Training

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Video Runtime: 62 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 29 Minutes

Did you know that the average teenager spends 40 to 50 hours training before getting a driver's license? Most people receiving a power wheelchair have very little, if any, mobility training to optimize their driving skills. And yet these drivers have motor, cognitive, and/or sensory impairments that make training even more important. Once a client has received a power wheelchair, mobility training is provided to further develop skills and optimize functional driving. This course will present mobility training strategies to optimize power wheelchair use. Clinicians need to be familiar with power wheelchair mobility training to optimize driving. This is a pediatric-focused course.

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Wheelchair Power Mobility: Advanced Features

Presented by Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

Wheelchair Power Mobility: Advanced Features

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Video Runtime: 60 Minutes; Learning Assessment Time: 29 Minutes

Power wheelchairs do far more than drive. CRT-level power wheelchairs also provide control of other advanced features through the driving method so that the driver can be as functional and independent as possible. Using a team approach, we can bring this technology to our clients using CRT power wheelchairs. The driver can control reverse (if this cannot readily be controlled through the driving method, such as with a head array), speeds, and power seating. The driver can also use the driving method to control an interfaced external assistive technology device, such as a communication device. These power wheelchairs have Bluetooth and can be paired with other technologies such as smartphones and tablets. Clinicians need to be familiar with these advanced power wheelchair features to optimize driving and overall function.

View full course details

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