News Archive

Rachel Hibbs

NIDILRR Researcher Receives ASCIP Therapy Leadership Award

Rachel M. Hibbs, DPT, NCS, ATP, an investigator and project lead for the NIDILRR-funded Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) Program: Research on Healthcare Policy and Disability, received the Clinical Excellence Award from the Therapy Leadership Council (TLC) during the Academy of Spinal Cord Injury Professionals (ASCIP) Annual Conference. The award is given to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding clinical care and contributions for clients with SCI/D.

Posted 10/13/2021

Face validity of standardized assessments for WMS evaluations

Journal Publication

Face Validity of Standardized Assessments for Wheeled Mobility & Seating Evaluations

A problem in the Complex Rehabilitation Technology industry is the lack of standardization in the assessment for wheeled mobility and seating (WMS). The aim of this paper was to identify assessment tools commonly used by clinicians during WMS evaluations. After the tools were identified by a panel of 12 subject matter experts, a presentation at the 2018 International Seating Symposium in Vancouver, Canada and the 2018 European Seating Symposium in Dublin, Ireland polled attendees to determine professional opinions of each tool. The Lawshe Content Validity Ratio was used to convert this anecdotal data into numerical data, indicating which tools were most and least used by attendees. Finally, a literature search was conducted to determine the reliability, validity, and International Classification of Functioning, Disability, & Health domain for each measure. The findings indicate that while there are many standardized and reliable assessment tools available for WMS evaluations, most clinicians use only a few standardized assessment tools during WMS evaluations.

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Posted 10/01/2021

Podcast Mobility Management

Advocating with Passion: CRT Awareness Week 2021

Preserving access to Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) takes a village… as well as preparation, patience, and passion. Brook McCall, Erin Michael, Mike Osborn, and Mickae Lee share their advocacy stories, as well as tips for creating memorable and meaningful conversations, just in time for National CRT Awareness Week.

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Posted 09/21/2021

CRT Awareness Week

Make Your Plans for 2021 CRT Awareness Week hosted by NCART and NRRTS. We wish that every legislator, policymaker, and community member already knew about Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) and the benefits it provides to people with disabilities. While we aren’t there just yet, we’ve made real progress and are increasing the number of decision makers who understand how vital CRT is. National CRT Awareness Week is a chance to keep our momentum moving forward by collectively showcasing what CRT is all about and why protecting access to this specialized equipment is so important.

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Posted 09/15/2021

NIDILRR Researchers

NIDILRR Researchers Receive Awards at 2021 RESNA Virtual Conference

Mark R. Schmeler, PhD, OTR/L, ATP, principal investigator for the NIDILRR-funded Disability and Rehabilitation Research Projects (DRRP) Program: Research on Healthcare Policy and Disability from the University of Pittsburgh, received the 2021 Sam McFarland Mentor Award at this year’s Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) Virtual Conference. This award is given recognition to those who have influenced, counseled, and nurtured others in the field of rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology. In addition, Madelyn Betz, a graduate research assistant at the University of Pittsburgh’s Dept. of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, was a runner-up in the Student Scientific Paper competition for her DRRP paper entitled, “Complex Rehabilitation Technology Service Delivery: Scoping Review Process & Methodology.” Lastly, Carmen DiGiovine, PhD, ATP/SMS, RET, a sub-contractor and Co-Investigator from The Ohio State University, is RESNA’s President-Elect and Eleni Halkiotis, MOT, OTR/L, ATP/SMS, a DRRP Team member from Permobil, was recipient of the Emerging Leader Award.

Posted 07/22/2021

ATP Manuscript

Journal Publication

Effect of the Assistive Technology Professional on the Provision of Mobility Assistive Equipment

The purpose of this study was to examine factors associated with variability in satisfaction with functional mobility (as measured by the Functional Mobility Assessment [FMA]) in users of mobility devices. Our primary hypothesis was that device type and Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) involvement will be the most significant predictors of FMA score. Data were collected from equipment suppliers who collaborate with clinicians to administer the FMA and associated Uniform Data Set within various settings (ie, rehabilitation clinic, school, supplier place of business). A data set of 4743 cases was included in the analysis. The relationship between ATP involvement and functional outcome supports the concept that ATP certification recognizes demonstrated competence in analyzing the needs of consumers with disabilities and selection of appropriate mobility assistive equipment with improved functional outcomes.

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Posted 07/22/2021

The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation

The National Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) Foundation presented a webinar titled, ‘Achieving Health Equity for People with Disabilities During the Pandemic and Beyond.’ In the United States, one in four adults has a disability and the pandemic has disproportionately impacted this community and made it more difficult to access care. Some people with disabilities were more likely to become infected with or have a severe illness from COVID-19 due to underlying medical conditions or living situations.

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Posted 07/22/2021

Bose Hearing Aid

Bose gets into hearing aid business with new FDA-cleared SoundControl hearing aids. A guide to choosing a hearing aid.

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Posted 05/27/2021

Network ISS

The University of Pittsburgh’s International Seating Symposium (ISS) is hosting a Webinar Series called Network ISS “A Prelude to Pittsburgh.” On May 14 a course titled, ‘Strategies for Worldwide Wheelchair Services in Less Resourced Areas’ was presented and recorded below. Wheelchair service delivery models have been implemented around the world in less resourced regions. This session engages global experts from the International Committee of the Red Cross to discuss perspectives on the worldwide need for wheelchairs and share strategies that have been successfully applied.

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Posted 05/27/2021

Amanda Morris

Amanda Morris will be The New York Times’s first reporting fellow focused on disability issues.

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Posted 05/27/2021

Medical Equipment

The National Council on Disability published a recent report on May 10, 2021 titled, ‘Enforceable Accessible Medical Equipment Standards: A Necessary Means to Address the Health Care Needs of People with Mobility Disabilities.’

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Posted 05/27/2021

My Quest to Find the Right Wheelchair

My Quest to Find the Right Wheelchair.

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Posted 04/05/2021

United Spinal Association Celebrates Its 75th Anniversary

Matt Berwick, DRRP CRT Team Member, program manager at UPMC Disabilities Resource Center, and President of the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of United Spinal Association, was selected as United Spinal Association ‘How We Roll’ feature for the month of April.

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Posted 04/01/2021

United Spinal Association Celebrates Its 75th Anniversary

Building an inclusive world that empowers people with spinal cord injuries and disorders in reaching their full potential. Thursday, February 4, 2021.

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Posted 10/27/2020

Listen to DRRP CRT Team Member Gerry Dickerson, ATP, CRTS, on Talk Rehab with Bill Noelting

Listen to DRRP CRT Team Member Gerry Dickerson, ATP, CRTS, on Talk Rehab with Bill Noelting, February 9, 2021. A leader to CRT Suppliers everywhere, Gerry Dickerson is responsible for providing mobility and access to many, many people that need it. An RTS in the truest, deepest sense, Gerry talks about his journey from the beginning of an industry and profession to now… and all things in between. With a great sense of humor, passion, and dedication, Gerry continues to lead and represent the amazing people that provide seating, mobility, and accessibility.

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Posted 10/27/2020

Development of ASSIST Checklist

Colleagues at the University of Pittsburgh’s NIDILRR Grant Funded ASSIST (Autonomy, Safety, and Social Integration via Smart Technologies) project presented their findings on the Development of a Functional Performance Index on the Use of Smart Home Technology as Assistive technology at the Assistive Technology Industry Association Conference.

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Posted 10/27/2020

Pitt Professor Takes on Policy Challenges for People with Disabilities

Pitt Professor Takes on Policy Challenges for People with Disabilities. Pittwire, Wednesday, October 7, 2020.

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Posted 10/27/2020

Talk Rehab Podcast

Mark Schmeler ‘Discusses the Recent CRT Grant Award’ with Bill Noelting, from Noelting Creative Productions, on October 6, 2020 Season 1 Episode 23.

View Talk Rehab Podcast here (35 min)

Posted 10/27/2020

The contents of this website were developed under a grant from the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR grant number 90DPGE0014-01-00). NIDILRR is a Center within the Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The contents of this website do not necessarily represent the policy of NIDILRR, ACL, or HHS, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.