Back to basics

Friday, August 24, 2012

ATLANTA – Kay Koch had no idea when she first decided to host a small education event that, 10 years later, she would be renting hotel conference rooms to hold a crowd. 

Koch’s 2012 Beyond the Basics Seminar, held Aug. 3, drew 77 therapists and 14 exhibitors. She said the idea originally came as a way to help area therapists, many of whom are school employees.

“We wanted to do it as a sort of ‘thank you’ to the therapists we work with,” said Koch, an occupational therapist and ATP at Atlanta-based Mobility Designs. “School systems don’t have a lot of money to educate therapists.”

During the free daylong seminar, Koch offers a Washington, D.C., update, a case study panel session, and informational sessions. Manufacturers also get “five minutes of fame” to address attendees about the products they have to offer. Therapists receive continuing education credits for attending.

The event also allows Mobility Designs to show off.

“We can’t bring all the equipment out to a wheelchair clinic at a school,” said Koch. “When we do this, we take the products out of the warehouse, plus all kinds of manufacturers are there to exhibit.”

New this year:  guest speaker, wheelchair rugby athlete and Paralympics bronze medalist Bob Lujano (See story below). 

“I wanted someone who uses adaptive equipment, an athlete who could reinforce the (role) complex rehab technology plays to keep people independent,” said Koch.