Professional Education

2023 Professional Education tracks

Track 1

A-1: 8:30-9:30 – “How to Use Technology and Teaching Strategies to Ease Transition to Adulthood” Presented by Ability KC

A-2: 9:45-10:45 – “Life Transitions and Beyond: Strategies for Meeting the CRT Needs of Adults with Childhood Onset Diagnoses” Presented by NuMotion

A-3: 11:00-12:00 – “What’s So Special About Rehab? Specifically for the Amputee Population” Presented by MidAmerica Rehabilitation Hospital

12:00-1:00– lunch break

Track 2

B-1: 8:30-9:30 – “Wheeled Mobility and Pressure Injuries: equipment considerations and strategies for the high risk client.” Presented by Permobil

B-2: 9:45-10:45 -“Identifying a Need: Wheelchair Provisions” Presented by Mobility First

B-3: 11:00-12:30 – “Clinical Considerations for Power Positioning Selection and Access” Presented by Quantum

Track 1 Schedule

Presented by: Ability KC
Presenters: Suzie Wiley, OTR & Katherine Hill, MOT, OTR/L


  1. Participants will be able to identify strategies for developing life skills needed for transition to adulthood
  2. Participants will be able to identify resources or tools to assist with transition to work/school
  3. Participants will be able to identify methods to modify digital technology.

Speaker Bios:

Suzie graduated from the Ohio State University with a degree in Occupational Therapy and has worked at Ability KC in various capacities. Her clinical background in neuro-rehabilitation brought a team of therapists at then The Rehabilitation Institute to recognize the limitations individuals experienced for written and spoken communication and the potential that technology could offer. In 1989, the Adaptive Computer & Communication Technology Program (ACCT) was developed to assist individuals and their families through the process of learning the technology adaptations available to bridge that gap. The ACCT Program continues to serve over 300 individuals per year through evaluation and training to explore, acquire and learn how to effectively use assistive technology tools in work, school, and their journey of life.

Katherine is an occupational therapist at Ability KC as a part of the pediatric and adolescent medical rehabilitation team. She works with children birth through 18 with a wide variety of diagnoses including brain injury, stroke, amputee, spinal cord injury, and rare neurologic diagnosis. Katherine also is responsible to programming and leading Ability KC’s Summer Transitions Program that focuses on developing critical life skills needed for successful transition from adolescence to adulthood. Katherine holds a Master of Occupational Therapy, Bachelor of Science in Occupational Studies, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Kansas.

Presented by: NuMotion
Presenter: Britta Schwartzhoff, PT, DPT, ATP

Following the course, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify 2 common secondary health conditions seen with individuals with a cerebral palsy or spina bifida diagnosis
  2. Describe 1 or more ways aging with a childhood-onset diagnosis may affect mobility device selection and CRT configurations
  3. List 1 or more equipment options to support weight bearing in adults unable to independently stand
  4. Understand impact of funding changes when transitioning into adulthood by identifying Medicare coverage criteria for 1 or more mobility bases
  5. Utilize the ICF model during a case study to consider the impact and influence of the various framework categories on mobility device selection during the transition into adulthood

Speaker Bio:

Britta Schwartzhoff, PT, DPT, ATP received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. She has served in both inpatient and outpatient settings throughout her career, including working in a seating and positioning specialty clinic. She specializes in serving complex rehab needs, including adults with childhood onset disabilities. Britta is passionate about providing opportunities, tools, and complex rehab technology equipment that promote independence, function and health optimization throughout the lifespan. Britta has had the opportunity to specialize and present at universities and multiple national and international level conferences regarding the benefits and processes on standing throughout the lifespan, integrated standing features, transitioning mobility and positioning devices throughout adulthood, seating clinic collaboration, and more. Britta currently works as a Clinical Educator at Numotion. She is a member of the Clinician Taskforce and the Clinical Advisory Board for Altimate Medical. She lives in Hudson, WI and enjoys running, cooking and spending outdoor time with her children throughout the seasons.

Presented by: MidAmerica Rehabilitation Hospital
Presenters: Morgan Davis, MOT, OTR/L & Brandy Johnson, CPTA


  1. Participants will understand the biomechanical and personal factors which contribute to a successful rehabilitation experience for persons living with amputation.
  2. Participants will discuss strategies utilized by therapists to engage the amputee patient for a more robust rehabilitation experience.

Speaker Bios:

Morgan Davis, MOT, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist working in the adult inpatient setting at MidAmerica Rehabilitation Hospital in Overland Park, KS. Prior to earning her Master of Occupational Therapy, Morgan obtained a bachelor’s degree in public relations with a minor in leadership studies, and worked for six years in the nonprofit sector. In 2020, Morgan was selected to present her research on productive aging among populations with intellectual and developmental disability at the American Occupational Therapy Association Conference. Morgan is Co-Champion of The Joint Commission-certified Amputee Rehabilitation Team at MidAmerica, contributor to the Public Relations and Social Media initiatives for Encompass Health, and serves on the Employee Connection Team and Encompass Health AOTA Partnership.

Brandy Johnson, CPTA, is a physical therapist assistant working in the adult inpatient setting at MidAmerica Rehabilitation Hospital in Overland Park, KS. She has specialized in amputee rehab for the past 15 years. Brandy is Co-Champion of The Joint Commission- certified Amputee Rehabilitation Team at MidAmerica and serves on the Employee Connection Team and Wound Care Team.

Presented by Alliance Rehab
Presenter: Tom Borcherding


  1. Review real life examples of how technology can improve a driver’s skill and confidence.
  2. Identify new client profiles that can now be open to the world of possibilities with powered mobility.

Speaker Bio:
Tom is an industry veteran, serving over 35 years in the CRT industry, spanning sales and leadership positions at Everest and Jennings, ROHO, Permobil, and now LUCI. Tom’s experience has led to a global perspective of the CRT industry and the clients for whom we serve.

Presented by: Sunrise Medical
Presenter: Karla Sonderland, MS, OTR/L

Course Description:
This course will discuss the application of mobility equipment to support the development of self-initiated movement for function and participation. Additionally, the course will review specific challenges related to children with disabilities or delay, current evidence, and the assessment and prescription of products pertaining to on-time mobility or function desired.


  1. Participants will be able to list 2 benefits of on-time mobility intervention.
  2. Participants will compare and contrast reasons to utilize a dependent versus an independent wheelchair base.
  3. Participants will identify two interventions for power driver training.

Speaker Bio:
Karla Sonderland graduated with a master’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Mary in North Dakota. She has 20 years of experience with a focus on individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. She brings to the team her knowledge and understanding of providing 24-hour care to individuals with multiple caregivers as well as helping individuals transition to alternate living arrangements with optimal assistive technology to ensure their safety and participation. Karla lives with her husband and three children in Iowa and manages the Midwest Clinical Education program.

Track 2 Schedule

Presented by: Permobil
Presenter: Sarah Lusto PT,MSPT, ATC, ATP

Course Description:
It is well-established through research findings and recent global data that pressure injuries can have a devastating impact on both the individual and the economics of healthcare delivery systems. People who use wheelchairs as their primary mobility device are often at a higher risk simply because they are sitting for long periods of time with less opportunity to change positions and surfaces. As stakeholders on the team, clinicians, equipment suppliers, and funding agencies must be knowledgeable about client risk factors involved, as well as product design characteristics and strategies used to mitigate these risks. Wheelchair seating and bed surfaces, as well as recommendations for best use of these surfaces, must be considered when products are selected as part of an individual’s pressure management program.This 1-hour course will review the science behind pressure injuries and up-to-date research that supports current best practice recommendations. The course will focus on how the wheelchair dependent client’s level of risk impacts the choices of surfaces- within the wheelchair and outside of the wheelchair. Pressure distribution strategies will be reviewed, as well as the role of differing support surface material and geometry characteristics. Participants will be provided with intervention strategy suggestions to incorporate into their daily practice.


By the end of the presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify 3 extrinsic risk factors that may contribute to a client developing a pressure injury.
  2. Describe 3 strategies of pressure redistribution to consider when selecting surfaces for pressure management as it relates to performance during ADL’s.
  3. Explain and dispel two common pressure injury myths.
  4. List 2 interventions for consideration when a client is identified as high risk of developing a pressure injury when completing ADL’s.

Speaker Bio:
Sarah Lusto PT,MSPT, ATC, ATP is a physical therapist and the Regional Clinical Education Manager for Permobil in the Mountain Region. Prior to joining Permobil in 2021, Sarah worked at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation where she gained extensive experience in neuro rehabilitation. At Kessler, she served as the inpatient wheelchair team lead and a member of the outpatient wheelchair clinic. She has lectured for numerous Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Medical Residency Programs and was a faculty member for Kessler’s PT Neuroresidency program. She has also presented at ASCIP and the International Seating Symposium. Sarah is a current member of RESNA and the APTA Assistive Technology/Seating & Wheeled Mobility SIG.

Presented by: Mobility First
Presenter: Brittany Makin, PT, DPT, ATP

Course Description:
This seminar will include education regarding the accurate identification of equipment that is needed, in our community, for wheelchair users. It will address the importance of full inclusion of the patient’s disease, comorbidities, living environment, transportation, and available assistive supports when deciding which wheelchair is most appropriate for each individual. The discussion will provide a hands-on presentation of a variety of available wheelchairs, cushions, and back supports demonstrating which patient population they may be appropriate for. Lastly, it will open for questions to provide answers to the specific concerns regarding wheelchairs in our community.


  1. To accurately identify needs seen in the wheelchair community.
  2. To understand the importance of a team approach to wheelchair assessments.
  3. To review considerations for various types of wheelchairs and accessories.
  4. To explain how seating and positioning affect the functionality of wheelchair users.

Speaker bio:
Brittany Makin, PT, DPT, ATP- Brittany attended University of Saint Mary (USM) receiving a BS in Science in 2012. Also, receiving a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from USM in 2016. Brittany worked in neurological inpatient rehabilitation, as a physical therapist, for 7 years before joining Mobility First in January of 2022. She currently works as an account manager, regional educator, and ATP for Mobility First. Recently, receiving her Assistive Technology Professional certificate in 2022 Brittany enjoys sourcing Kansas City with excellent customer service and care when ordering DME.

Presented by: Quantum Rehab
Presenter: Wade Lucas

Course Description:
Power wheelchairs are designed to augment function when functional mobility is compromised or lost. For end users with complex needs, the power wheelchair can also augment repositioning, pressure relief and many other functional activities. However, the provision of power positioning devices is under scrutiny by third party payors who are looking to assure that the medical need for the power seat function has been documented. As assistive technology professionals we are deemed with the task of completing a thorough, comprehensive assessment and providing the proper documentation to justify the need for these functions. This course will dive into the various options for power positioning, clinical benefits, the research supporting the need for power positioning technology and the need for various power positioning access options.


  1. Participants will be able to explain 3 clinical considerations for the recommendation of tilt, recline and power elevating leg rests.
  2. Participants will be able to identify a minimum of 3 clinical indications for use of power seat elevation and anterior tilt.
  3. Participants will be able to distinguish the medical need for an end user to operate their power seat functions through the drive control input device.

Speaker bio:
As Quantum’s Clinical Education Manager for the Western United States, Wade develops education programs on the clinical uses of company products and delivers continuing education presentations to therapists and DME providers. He also provides education to field sales staff on clinical benefits of Quantum products.

Wade Lucas received his Master of Physical Therapy in 2002 and his Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2005 from the University of Nebraska Medical Center. Wade has spent most of his career working in a large inpatient rehabilitation center, but also has experience in outpatient seating clinics, home health, and skilled nursing. He received his Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) certification in 2007 and his Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS) certification in 2018. He has also spent over 3 years of his career as a Rehab Equipment Specialist for a durable medical equipment company.

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