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 one
specialty of physical therapy.
The seating and positioning physical 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).
(See their Web site: http://www.resna.org
for information on education to become 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, IL, to people with disabilities
or special needs. She educates the mobility equipment merchant and
conducts assessments for customers to recommend the appropriate
To become a physical therapist, one must first
complete a master's 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). A visit to their Web site will tell you anything you need
to know about pursuing a career as a physical therapist: http://www.apta.org.
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 email@example.com.