Professional Education


Track 1 Schedule

A-1: 8:00-10:00 “Thinking Outside the Code”

A-1: “Thinking Outside the Code”
(2 CEU)
Presented by: Permobil
Presenter: Tricia Garven, MPT, ATP

Course Description:

This course will explain barriers to end-users access to technology and how to overcome them. It will also explore ways that manual wheelchair configurations can affect propulsion and compensation techniques, ways that smart technology can positively affect health outcomes for wheelchair users and how to apply evidence based practice research when addressing multiple power functions of wheelchair.


  1. Explain 2 barriers to end-users’ access to technology and 2 options of how to overcome them.
  2. Explain 2 ways that poor manual wheelchair configuration can lead to compensation during propulsion by the wheelchair end-user and 2 evidence based clinical/equipment recommendations to help.
  3. Using the ICF model, summarize 3 ways that smart technology can positively affect health outcomes for the wheelchair user.
  4. Interpret 3 recommendations from research about how power seat functions should be applied in evidence based practice to mitigate risks for pressure injury and shoulder pain/impairments.
  5. Summarize 3 key points from research about power seat function utilization, and discuss 2 possible clinical/equipment recommendations to improve effective utilization of power seat functions.
  6. Relate 3 examples of linking clients’ needs with technology recommended in clinical documentation.

Speaker Bio:

Tricia Garven, MPT, ATP is currently a Regional Clinical Education Manager for Permobil. Prior to joining the clinical team at Permobil, she was in a similar role as the Clinical Applications Manager for ROHO. Previously, in clinical practice, Tricia specialized in neuro rehabilitation at Baylor Institute for Rehabilitation (BIR) in Dallas, Texas. While working at BIR, she gained extensive knowledge in the prescription and training of custom wheelchairs and seating. She also worked as the outpatient wheelchair seating clinic specialist. Now with Permobil, Tricia is presenting educational programs to therapists and DME providers regarding seating, mobility and pressure ulcer prevention. Tricia is an active member of RESNA, Clinician’s Task Force, and the APTA. Within the APTA, Tricia is a member of the Academy of Neurologic Physical Therapy as well as a founding member of the recently formed AT-SWM (Assistive Technology – Seating and Wheeled Mobility) SIG.

A-2: “The Drive for Function and Development: Alternative Drive Control Considerations for Early Power Mobility”
(1 CEU)
Presented by: Quantum
Presenter: Wade Lucas, PT, DPT, ATP/SMS

Course Description:

Assessing an end user for power mobility can be an intimidating task. Decisions that are made will have an impact on the individual’s quality of life, functional mobility, physical well-being, and social interactions. This task can seem even more daunting when it comes to the pediatric end user. Children have the natural desire to move, explore, and learn. Research has shown that there is a strong correlation between self-initiated mobility and the development of visual, cognitive, social, language, and perceptual skills. This course will discuss the characteristics and decision-making process for alternative drive control devices, as well as the special considerations on early power mobility intervention.
Potential assessment and training tools for pediatric power mobility will also be explored.


  1. Participants will differentiate the unique considerations that are involved when assessing children for the appropriate drive control device.
  2. Participants will distinguish 2 reasons why non-proportional drive inputs may be more appropriate than proportional inputs for the pediatric end user.
  3. Participants will apply 2 different methods for the assessment and training for potential early power mobility interventions.

Speaker Bio:

Wade is a licensed Physical Therapist and a certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP)/Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS) through RESNA. He has over 15 years of experience working in the complex rehabilitation equipment field. His clinical experience includes inpatient rehabilitation, outpatient, pediatrics, skilled nursing/long term care, and home health. Wade’s current role with Quantum Rehab is to develop education programs on the clinical uses of company products and produce education presentations to provide to therapists and equipment providers. He also provides education to field sales staff on clinical benefits of Quantum products.

A-3: “Standing: Why, What and How?”
(1 CEU)
Presented by Convaid
Presenter: Mega Salley MOTR/L

Course Description:

Supported standing is recommended and used clinically in the pediatric population for a variety of neuromuscular diagnoses. The justification for a standing program is based upon several factors. Clinical goals may vary or change with the age of the individual. This presentation will review the documented benefits of a standing program. The rationale used to select one type of stander over another will be discussed. The clinical benefits and rationale for selection will be used to create the medical necessity of the standing device.


  1. Understand at least 5 benefits of standing to develop goals and standing program.
  2. Understand rationale for choosing a standing position (e.g. prone, supine, vertical, multiple).
  3. Utilize 4 measurements to choose and adjust stander
  4. Identify appropriate accessories to support child in stander
  5. List 3 important elements to letters of medical necessity and justification of equipment funding

Speaker bio:

Megan Salley is an OT and a graduate of the University of Missouri. Her clinical experience includes working with adult neurological disorders, especially spinal cord injury, and pediatric early intervention. She has also held a leadership role in home healthcare. For four years she worked as a mobility sales representative for a manufacturer of pediatric complex rehab equipment which introduced her to the world of pediatric equipment prescription. Megan has a passion for the pediatric population and is committed to increasing awareness and education to therapists and families regarding rehabilitation equipment and assistive technology that supports and enhances activities of daily living. Megan Salley is currently an Occupational Therapist for Therapy Relief at Hope, a clinical Specialist for Bioness, Inc, and a Clinical Education Consultant for Covanid .

Track 2 Schedule

B-1: “Technology – Making Sense of it All”
(1 CEU)
Presented by: AbilityKC
Presenters: Suzie Wiley, OTR, Natalie Dirnberger, DPT, Hannah C. Smith, M.S., CCC-SLP , Rebekkah Hess, OTR/L

Course Description:

This session will provide an overview of robotic and assistive technology tools and applications for a broad scope of abilities and ages. Having an understanding of current approaches for augmentative communication, adapted access, robotic gait training, and the world of ‘apps’ will strengthen a participant’s ability to understand and verbalize these options to their clients.


  1. Participant will identify 3 methods that technology can provide an adapted method of communication for their needs.
  2. Participant will be able to identify 4 specific technology tools or unique adaptations that can enable someone to access their technology for spoken and written communication .
  3. Participant will improve understanding of the use of robotic technology for gait training with the neuro-rehab population.

Speaker bios:
Suzie Wiley graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Occupational Therapy and has worked at Rehabilitation Institute of Kansas City/AbilityKC in various capacities throughout her career. Her clinical background in neuro-rehabilitation brought a team of therapists at AbilityKC to recognize the limitations individuals experience 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. This is provided by combining a team with extensive rehabilitation experience and current trends in assistive technology. This program has continued to grow to be a regional resource for assistive technology strategies related to employment, school and participation in daily community activities.

Hannah is a speech language pathologist who works in the ACCT Program at Ability KC and specializes in alternative and augmentative communication (AAC). In this position, she works with patients of all ages who have complex communication needs, giving them a voice through the use of high-tech AAC equipment and strategies. After gaining valuable experience in inpatient neurorehabilitation, Hannah has brought her clinical skills and background in neuroscience to the ACCT Program, where she provides patient care, engages in community outreach, coordinates events for AAC user groups in the Kansas City area, and keeps the staff well-fueled with various baked goods. Hannah is certified in the LAMP Words for Life program, Interactive Metronome, and Vital Stim. She holds a Masters in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Rockhurst University and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Carleton
College in Northfield, Minnesota.

Natalie Dirnberger, a native of Kansas City, completed her undergraduate degree in Health Science as well as her Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Missouri- Columbia. Following graduation in July of 2013, Natalie joined Ability KC as a physical therapist on the adult medical rehabilitation team. In March of 2016, she became certified as a Level 2 Ekso Bionics clinician, and since then has used the Ekso GT regularly. In addition, Natalie was certified as an Indego specialist in October of 2018 and has been using both robotics devices to provide rehabilitation and gait training to adults with a variety of neurological conditions to assist in achieving their mobility goals.

Rebekah Hess is an occupational therapist who works at Ability KC with all different aged individuals with varying diagnoses to help them learn how assistive technology can support their needs to engage in home, school, work, and community activities of daily living. Rebekah believes with how technology has changed and developed over the years, it can greatly benefit the individual in gaining independence or can make one’s life a little less complex. Rebekah is a Certified Service Provider for Missouri Assistive Technology where she trains individuals in the community on various tools for adapted computer access. She is active at a state and national level with occupational therapy associations as she loves research and learning about what is current to keep her client’s using the most up-to-date tools. Rebekah earned a masters degree in occupational therapy from The University of Findlay in Ohio. Prior to that, Rebekah practiced as an occupational therapy assistant for 5 years working in skilled nursing facilities in Ohio and Michigan.

B-2: “Communications & Collaboration Achieving Best Outcomes by Utilization of Certified & Credentialed Assistive Technology Professionals”
(1 CEU)
Presented by GKCSCIA
Presenter: Mike Seidel, ATP, CRTS

Course Description:

This presentation will focus on Communication & Collaboration and how improving these will lead to the best outcomes for consumers. We will review a client centered approach for obtaining Complex Rehabilitation Equipment (CRT – mainly wheeled mobility & seating systems). We will review the medical professionals involved in the process and their roles. We will discuss in depth how Communication & Collaboration between all parties involved in the process will lead to the best outcomes when obtaining Complex Rehabilitation Equipment. Open communication and sharing of knowledge is key and must occur to achieve the best outcomes. The roles each individual plays in the process can enhance the customer experience when all parties understand their roles and responsibilities. Understanding the role the supplier plays and their level of professionalism will help clinicians and consumers to identify qualified suppliers. We will review the certification and credentialing process available for suppliers along with the Standards of Practice and Code of Ethics required of them. We will review which funding sources require this certification and the value certification brings to clinics and consumers. We will also review the formal complaint process available to consumers and clinicians to assist in ensuring the Standards of Practice and Code of ethics is adhered to by suppliers of Complex Rehabilitation Equipment.


  1. Define rehabilitation technology
  2. Identify when rehabilitation technology is appropriate
  3. Examine collaborative efforts with assistive technology team members
  4. Discuss communication expectations and working relationships with the
    assistive technology team as related to the client
  5. Understand medical outcomes related to rehabilitation technology

Speaker Bio:

Mike has provided Complex Rehabilitation Technology Equipment (CRT) and assisted clinicians and case manager in achieving great outcomes for their clients for 30 years. Mike was among the first group of mobility professionals to sit for the RESNA ATP credentialing exam in 1997 earning his ATP credential. Mike has served as President of The National Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers (NRRTS) and remains active within the organization as a past president. Mike has served on the RESNA Professional Standards Board as Chair and also served on the complaints resolution committee. Mike has presented nationally to equipment providers, Physical Therapists, Occupational Therapists and Case Managers on Complex Rehabilitation Technology. Mike continues to be a strong advocate for Complex Rehabilitation Technology education and for a client centered approach to providing Complex Rehabilitation Technology equipment to consumers. Mike is currently the Vice President of National Accounts for Numotion and can be reached at

B-3: “Cushions and Backs Don’t Rest ALONE on the Diagnosis Code”
(1 CEU)
Presented by Mobility First
Presenter: Dan Fedor: Director of Reimbursement – US Rehab

Course Description:
Skin protection/positioning cushions and backs ARE diagnosis (ICD10) driven; HOWEVER, they don’t REST alone on a diagnosis code. In addition to a qualifying ICD10 there must be narrative from a clinician that supports the ICD10, otherwise, the cushion/back will deny. There is also a relatively new change in the allowance of cushion/back replacement. CMS has forced a retraction of a previous decision to allow replacement of cushions/backs after 2 years and has instructed the DME MACs to enforce the DME 5 year reasonable useful life (RUL). In this session the instructor will identify the required narrative documentation for skin protection and positioning cushions/backs to support the ICD10 as well as address the documentation requirements for replacement of cushions and backs within 5 years. Since many other insurances follow Medicare’s lead this is becoming wide spread and if the documentation for replacement is not sufficient the replacement cushion will not be reimbursed.


  1. Identify additional documentation requirements beyond the diagnosis code (ICD10)
  2. Determine appropriate time for replacement
  3. Construct an evaluation that will enable qualified patients to receive the appropriate cushion/back as well as for appropriate replacement.

Speaker Bio:

Dan has been in the HME industry for over 28 years and currently serves as the Director of Reimbursement for U.S.Rehab a Division of The VGM Group Inc. He is a graduate of Penn State University where he earned a BS in Economics. Dan joined VGM in 2014 and before that, was the Director of Education and Compliance for Pride Mobility for 13 years. Prior to joining Pride, Dan served as a Senior Manager for Provider Outreach and Education (POE) and Electronic Data Interchange for the Jurisdiction A DME MAC (United Healthcare) for nearly 6 years. Dan has presented at numerous local and national events regarding Medicare compliance and reimbursement including, Medtrade, VGM’s Heartland Conference, International Seating Symposium, RESNA and for multiple state association meetings.

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