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RESNA pauses conference

RESNA pauses conference

Andrea Van HookWASHINGTON – RESNA’s board of directors has decided not to host a conference in 2024 to give itself time to explore potential partnerships for a future conference. 

With increasing costs, partnerships would help to make the conference more viable, the organization says. 

“There are still a lot of post-pandemic effects that we’re still feeling,” said Andrea Van Hook, executive director of RESNA. “We heard from our members from hospital systems that they’re still not allowed to go to conferences and a lot of suppliers have cut back on travel.” 

Most recently, RESNA hosted its annual conference July 24-26 in New Orleans. 

Partnerships would also help RESNA better reflect the “full gamut” of assistive technology in its conference, making it more appealing to attendees, Van Hook says. 

“When you’re just RESNA and you’re covering everything from wheelchairs to augmentative and alternative communication to robotics, attendees don’t think they can get enough continuing education (in their specialty),” she said. 

RESNA has increased the amount of education it offers throughout the year, including webinars and a specific track at the International Seating Symposium, Van Hook point outs, so its members do have options. 

“Maybe we’ll try a RESNA on the road approach,” she said. “We’re having a lot of interesting conversations but nothing solid enough to talk about at this time.” 

Van Hook also points out that the pause does not mean this year’s conference was not a success. It featured a video welcome from Steve Gleason from Team Gleason; a presence by staff from Split Second Fitness, the first accessibly gym in Louisiana, and the Louisiana Assistive Technology Access Network; and a transition to an “Experience Hall” with “solution providers” to provide hands-on demos. 

“It’s the first conference we’ve ever done where the exhibitors were like, ‘This is amazing,’” she said.



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