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Wheelchair Seating Assessment: Positioning the Head

presented by Michelle L. Lange

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Does every client need head positioning as a part of a wheelchair seating system? No, many clients have adequate head control so that no further support is needed. However, many other clients require intervention to achieve and maintain an upright head position. An upright head is essential to optimize vision, breathing and swallowing. In this course we'll show demonstrations for seating interventions, different head supports, and various seating components as a part of posterior head support.

Meet Your Instructor

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

    Michelle is an occupational therapist with nearly 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 10 years. Michelle’s work in assistive technology covers a broad range of roles and services. She evaluates and treats children and adults with a variety of diagnoses as well as provides consultation and education in the areas of wheelchair seating and mobility, accessibility, assistive technology access, mounting, interfacing, and electronic aids to daily living. Michelle is a well-respected lecturer both nationally and internationally and has presented over 500 workshops, courses, webinars, and recorded content. Michelle is on the teaching faculty of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). She develops educational content for Numotion, the National Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers (NRRTS), and MedGroup. Michelle is the editor of Fundamentals in Assistive Technology, 4th Ed. (RESNA Press) and Clinical Editor of NRRTS Directions magazine. She is also former Editor of the Technology Special Interest Section (TSIS) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Michelle has authored 6 book chapters and over 200 articles. She is a reviewer for Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology Journal and the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (JRRD). She is also a member of the RESNA Assistive Technology Journal Editorial Board. She is on the OccupationalTherapy.com advisory board. Michelle is a past RESNA Secretary, Member at Large, member of the Board of Directors, Education Chair and the Wheelchair Seating and Mobility Special Interest Group Vice Chair. She is a past member of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Wheeled Mobility Advisory Board, is a member of the Clinician Task Force and a Friend of NRRTS. Michelle is a certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) and Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS). She is also a Senior Disability Analyst of the American Board of Disability Analysts (ABDA).

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

Download Learning Objectives
  1. Positioning the Head: Causes and General Intervention

    1. Positioning the Head: Causes and General Intervention

    This chapter will present causes of decreased or lack of head control and present general strategies to optimize head control. An upright head is critical to vision, breathing and swallowing.

  2. Positioning the Head: Decreased Head Control

    2. Positioning the Head: Decreased Head Control

    This chapter will address clients who have decreased head control and interventions to facilitate a more upright head, including posterior head supports.

  3. Positioning the Head: No Head Control

    3. Positioning the Head: No Head Control

    This chapter will address clients with little or no head control who require support posteriorly, but also anteriorly.