NRRTS woos consumers to event

Sunday, December 14, 2008

TRINIDAD, Colo. - NRRTS has a plan to boost the number of consumers who attend next year's Complex Rehab Education and Legislative Forum (CELA): scholarships.

NRRTS announced last week that it would provide matching funds to complex rehab providers who bring consumers to CELA. NRRTS, with support from the event's sponsors, will contribute up to $500 for each consumer's travel and lodging expenses and provide free registration to participating consumers and providers.

"We all know money is really tight right now," said Weesie Walker, president of NRRTS and manager of National Seating and Mobility's Atlanta branch. "We're trying to help suppliers bring people to Washington."

NRRTS, NCART and the University of Pittsburgh will hold CELA April 21-23 in Baltimore in conjunction with the HME Expo & Conference.

The scholarships are available to people of all ages and diagnoses nationwide, according to Simon Margolis, executive director of NRRTS.

"We're talking about children, young adults, adults and seniors," he said.

At CELA, consumers will share stories about how access (or lack of access) to rehab and assistive technology products has affected their lives. It's not necessarily a time for the industry to lobby against funding cuts, Margolis said.

"I would hate to go in and turn this opportunity to provide some education about disability to a new administration into (a discussion about the 9.5% nationwide reimbursement cut)," he said.

Rehab providers like Walker are already thinking about the consumers they would like to bring to CELA.

"I have a client that I've worked with for over 10 years and through that process she's graduated high school and college," she said. "When I asked, 'Would you like to go to Washington?' she said, 'Yeah!'"

Scholarship applications are available at