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RESNA promotes teamwork at ISS

RESNA promotes teamwork at ISS

Dan CochranePITTSBURGH – Daniel Cochrane will give a presentation as part of the RESNA Track at the upcoming International Seating Symposium on the importance of seating and mobility professionals working with school personnel to best meet the needs of pediatric clients. 

Cochrane, MA, MS, ATP, a clinical instructor for the AT Certificate Program and a PhD student in the Disabilities Studies program at the University of Illinois at Chicago, will present “Seat Yourself with K-12 School Teams: Collaboration is Key!” with Sheri Lenzo, an assistive technology coordinator at Oak Park Elementary School District 97. 

“The purpose of the RESNA Track at ISS is to provide sessions to seating and mobility professionals that focus on technology convergence and the necessity of working within a team to best support people with disabilities who use technology in their daily lives,” said Andrea Van Hook, executive director of RESNA. “RESNA emphasizes that seating and mobility professionals need to know ‘more than wheelchairs’ to best serve their clients.”  

Other sessions in the RESNA Track at ISS, which takes place April 13-15 in Pittsburgh, cover topics like standards, certification and 14-7 posture care management. 

Here’s what Cochrane, who also has 20 years of experience as a special educator and AT specialist in a K-12 public school district in Illinois, had to say about the impact of what he calls a “more holistic approach” to seating and mobility in pediatrics. 

Know the environment 

Wheelchair evaluations for pediatric clients don’t always take the school setting into account, even though that’s where they spend much of their time. By working with school personnel, professionals like Cochrane are added “into the mix” for better outcomes, he said. 

“A key thing is matching assistive technology not just to the person’s needs but to the environment they’re in,” he said. “We know the school environment, so collaborate with us. I’ve seen it be very successful when a PT or other professional pushes to collaborate with the school.” 

Boost engagement 

Cochrane remembers a child, when he was still working in a school district, whose life was totally transformed when more appropriate seating and mobility was introduced. 

“We were tracking this child’s behavior over time, because they were always closing their eyes and not engaging,” he said. “At some point in the process, the PT found a loaner wheelchair. The child had just a stroller-type wheelchair. When we employed the new wheelchair at school, there was such a difference in the student’s engagement. I was floored and thought, ‘We know what this means – we have to push for better seating and mobility for this child.’”


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