Seating and Positioning Specialist

Finding the right fit for a person and his/her wheelchair or other mobility device is a unique process involving the expertise of a seating and positioning specialist. This is a specialty of occupational or physical therapy.

spokes of wheelchair

The seating and positioning therapist conducts a clinical assessment and makes recommendations for proper seating and wheeled mobility for someone with a physical disability. The main objective of the therapist is to facilitate the highest functional level possible for the client. This involves meeting a wide variety of criteria, such as support requirements, posture, range of motion, disease progression, strength, skin sensitivity, environment and functional ability.

A seating and positioning specialist may work in private practice as a consultant, in a hospital or rehabilitation center. He or she will consult with patients and their families, work as part of a team of professionals, or with vendors, manufacturers of rehabilitation and mobility equipment.

Barb Jungbluth, PT-ATP, has been a physical therapist for many years and has also studied to become certified as an assistive technology practitioner (ATP). This certification is offered by the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America (RESNA). (Click here for the RESNA website for information on becoming an assistive technology practitioner.)

In her private practice, Ms. Jungbluth works as a consultant to vendors of assistive technology rehabilitation equipment. She educates representatives of these companies and assesses their clients' needs for an appropriate fit with equipment. Ms. Jungbluth also consults in home healthcare and pediatrics.

One of the fun things Ms. Jungbluth does is consulting for Creative Mobility. Creative Mobility sells adaptive bicycles, tricycles and scooters in St. Charles, Illinois to people with disabilities or special needs. She educates the mobility equipment merchant and conducts assessments for customers to recommend the appropriate equipment.

To become a physical therapist, one must first complete a doctoral degree through a physical therapy program at a college with this specialty. Then he or she must pass an exam to be board certified by the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).  Click here to visit the APTA website to learn more about pursuing a career as a physical therapist.  Also, your state will require you to pass an exam to become licensed. If you have questions regarding seating and positioning, you may also email Barb Jungbluth at

If you wish information about becoming an occuational therapist, see the occupational therapy section at the left.