Professional Education


Track 1:
A-1: 7:30-9 – “Practical Application for Best Outcomes- Provision of a Seating & Positioning System”
A-2: 9:15-10:15 – “Game Time – How Does Video Gaming Fit into Rehab?!”
A-3: 10:30-11:30 – “Pressure Injuries in the Rehab Setting”
A-4: 11:45-12:45 – “Getting to Know PRC-Saltillo”
A-5: 1:00-2:00- “Smart” Wheelchairs: What’s right for my client?”
A-6: 2:10-3:10 – “A New Approach: Home and Community-Based Brain Injury Waiver Services in Kansas”

Track 2:
B-1: 7:30-9 – “Beyond Drive Control Selection: Maximizing Function and Independence through Programming Options”
B-2: 9:15-10:15 – “Why Neurorehabilitation Benefits from Technology”
B-3: 10:30-11:30 – “A Team Approach to Providing CRT: Utilizing the ICF Model as a Framework in the Provision of CRT”
11:45-12:45 – lunch break
B-4: 1:00-2:00 – “What You Need to Know About Wheelchairs.”
B-5: 2:10-3:10 – “The Utilization of Advanced Technologies and Robotics to Promote High Intensity Training and Neuroplastic Recovery”

Track 1 Schedule

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

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

Course Description: This course is intended to facilitate clinicians and equipment suppliers’ understanding of how to be successful in the provision of best practice seating and positioning solutions for complex rehabilitation technology (CRT). In many settings, with time and resources, the potential exists to default into provision of lower-end seating & positioning products instead of that which the client truly needs. This course is intended to be an overview to transitioning your practice from general use and standard equipment to the application of best practice for tissue protection, proper postural support, stability and function. This course will utilize clinical examples to assist the clinical decision-making process about who needs CRT, how outcomes can be improved, and how to navigate the equipment provision landscape. Upon completion of this course, clinicians will have a better understanding of how to initiate referrals and recommend seating and positioning solutions for CRT to optimize client outcomes.

  1. Objectives:
    Identify 3 risk factors that could lead to damage of the client’s skin or underlying tissue
  2. Identify three postural limitations which can impact your recommendation of seating and positioning products.
  3. Discuss 2 examples of how seating and positioning materials and geometry can enhance a client’s function within their seating system.
  4. List 2 mat assessment findings and describe their relationship with product features which can lead to optimal outcomes clients using their seating & positioning system

Speaker Bio:
Sarah received her BS in sports medicine and MS in Physical Therapy from Quinnipiac University. Prior to joining Permobil she worked at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, New Jersey for 11 years on both the brain injury and spinal cord injury units where she gained extensive experience in neuro rehabilitation. As a clinical specialist at Kessler, she also served as the wheelchair team lead for the inpatient department and a member of the outpatient wheelchair clinic helping to provide complex seating and mobility and assistive technology solutions across the continuum of care. Sarah joined Permobil in 2021 as a Regional Clinical Education Manager for the Mountain Region

Presented by: Ability KC
Presenter: Haleigh Fancher, OTR

Course Description: Learn how video gaming fits into rehab by exploring gaming research, therapist roles, adaptations, and partnerships with Ablegamers non-profit organization.


  1. Participant will identify 2 research-based benefits to interactive play and video gaming
  2. Participant will be able to identify 3 methods of modifying video gaming for individuals with disabilities
  3. Participants will understand how gaming impacts social participation for individuals with disabilities.

Speaker Bio:
Haleigh Fancher is an occupational therapist in the ACCT Program at Ability KC who specializes in assistive technology tools for adapted access to digital technology, communication devices, and adaptive gaming. Haleigh attended Texas Tech University for a degree in Kinesiology and minor in Psychology, graduating in 2018. She then returned home to attend the University of Missouri. She graduated in 2020 with her Master’s in Occupational Therapy. She has worked in skilled and pediatric settings before joining Ability KC in March 2021.

Presented by: MidAmerica Rehabilitation Hospital
Presenter: Betsy Wilson, PT, CWS

Course Description: This course will cover the primary causes, treatment, and prevention of pressure injuries in the acute rehabilitation population including pathophysiology and impact on recovery and lifestyle. Participants will be able to readily apply this information in the clinical setting.


  1. General understanding of physiology of pressure injuries
  2. Identify causes of pressure injuries for patients in the rehab setting
  3. Discuss prevention and treatment of pressure injuries
  4. Discuss pressure injuries in specific rehab populations
  5. Provide patient education regarding pressure injuries

Speaker bio:
Betsy Wilson, PT, CWS graduated from Washington University Program in Physical Therapy with 30+ years of experience in wound care in both acute hospital and acute rehabilitation settings. Certified Wound Specialist by the American Board of Wound Management. Current Wound Care Coordinator and Team Lead for Spinal Cord Injury Team at Mid America Rehabilitation Hospital.

Presented by: PRC-Saltillo
Presenter: Betsy Clifford, M.H.S., CCC-SLP

Course Description:
PRC-Saltillo is dedicated to providing AAC communication solutions and industry-best support to those clients and their teams. This course will introduce you to PRC-Saltillo and its communication solutions (i.e., Accent®, NovaChat®, Via™ Pro, PRiO®-Mini, and TouchChat Express™, in addition to the Dialogue™, LAMP Words for Life®, and TouchChat® Apps). Participants will learn about the different access methods and vocabulary options available, which can easily be customized to meet your client’s needs. A demonstration of customization and use of the devices will be included, along with hands on experience. Participants will also learn about the many free resources PRC-Saltillo offers including the companion software, online implementation materials, funding support, webinars, and more!


  1. List at least 3 PRC-Saltillo speech generating devices
  2. Name two different core-based language options on a PRC-Saltillo device
  3. Identify three online resources provided by PRC-Saltillo for AAC supports

Speaker bio:
In 2010, Betsy graduated with her Masters in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Missouri and then, went on to gain clinical experience in a variety of settings including a pediatric outpatient clinic, an Applied Behavior Analysis private school, and a Skilled Nursing Facility. In these settings, Betsy had the opportunity to work with children, teens and adults who use AAC. As an AAC consultant for PRC-Saltillo, she currently works with teams who are evaluating clients who need AAC and teams who are implementing AAC in home, school, clinic, and community environments. Betsy provides support for PRC-Saltillo products and services across Western Missouri and Kansas. Betsy has enjoyed working for PRC-Saltillo for the past 7 years and is proud to work for company dedicated to enabling individuals with speech and language impairments the ability to successfully communicate and interact in their environments.

Presented by: Braze Mobility
Presenter: Pooja Viswanathan, PhD

Course Description: Smart wheelchairs have recently attracted a lot of interest in the rehab community. However, there has been a lack of a useful categorization to help differentiate between the various functionalities that these systems offer to the client. In addition, there is currently limited discussion on research and clinical evidence related to this technology. The learning outcomes will thus help participants describe and differentiate between the various technologies as well as describe peer-reviewed evidence for commercially available systems. Finally, the session will provide useful guidelines to help clinicians and/or ATPs match the technology to client needs.

It is estimated that up to 91% of wheelchair users can benefit from “smart” wheelchair technology (Simpson, 2008). This technology can be described using 3 categories of sensor technologies for collision avoidance: monitoring, warning, and intervention. Each category has advantages and disadvantages; these must be carefully considered when matching technology to client needs. This course will summarize a peer-reviewed article that was recently published on commercially available blind spot sensors; there is no evidence currently available on other commercial systems. Several safety, clinical, and ethical issues must be considered as “smart” wheelchair technology continues to advance. The course will discuss some of these issues and provide some general guidelines for clinicians and providers so that they can select the technology that best suits their client needs and abilities.


  1. Describe 3 categories of sensor technologies for collision avoidance (i.e, “smart” wheelchair technologies)
  2. Differentiate between these 3 categories by providing advantages and disadvantages of each
  3. Describe current evidence on commercially available sensor technologies.
  4. For each of the 3 categories, apply the guidelines to determine one example of an ideal client for that technology.
  5. Discuss 3 considerations (clinical, safety, and/or ethical) for “smart” wheelchair technology, now and in the future

Speaker bio:
Dr. Pooja Viswanathan holds an undergraduate degree (B. Math) in Computer Science (Bio-informatics option) from the University of Waterloo. She completed her PhD in Computer Science (Robotics and Assistive Technology) in August 2012 at the University of British Columbia, under the supervision of Dr. Mackworth and Dr. Little. Her thesis was entitled, “Navigation and Obstacle Avoidance Help (NOAH) for Elderly Wheelchair Users with Cognitive Impairment in Long-Term Care.” Her research focused on the development and testing of a “smart” wheelchair that provided collision avoidance and wayfinding assistance. Her postdoctoral research at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute involved further development and testing of smart wheelchairs, as well as tackling issues related to deployment of the technology. She has published several peer-reviewed publications (, organized international workshops on smart wheelchairs, and authored book chapters on the same topic as well as knowledge translation and commercialization. Currently, Dr. Viswanathan is the founder and CEO of Braze Mobility Inc., a start-up commercializing blind spot sensors that transform any wheelchair into a smart wheelchair.

Presented by: Minds Matter
Presenter: Erica Bates, M.S., CCC-SLP, CBIST

Course Description:

a. Brain Injury

i. Provide a brief overview of our organization and philosophy
ii. Where do connections begin?
iii. Review resources available to individuals throughout the State of Kansas
iv. Review opportunities to connect/advocate for resources for these
v. Overview of waivers utilized in the State of Kansas

b. Ethics

i. Historical Overview
ii. Guardianship and placement.
iii. ADA Compliance
iv. Olmstead Act

c. Social Capital

i. Overview/definitions
ii. Formal supports
iii. Informal supports
iv. Use of technology for social connectedness

d. Consumer Video

i. Journey of a brain injury
ii. Self-Advocacy
iii. Role of various staff members

Participants will understand how Home and Community Based Services are a cost-effective tool for meeting the needs of individuals with a broad range of rehabilitation needs.

Participants will identify various causes and consequences of brain injury.
Participants will identify Home and Community Based services as an effective approach to increase a person’s overall function, participation, and social capital.

Speaker bio:
Erica Bates is an experienced rehabilitation professional with 10+ years focused on traumatic and acquired brain injuries. She is a professional educator, advocate, speaker and Vice President of Services. Building on her background as a Speech-Language Pathologist, Erica obtained her CBIS in 2013 and her CBIST in 2014. She is a member of the Brain Injury Association of Kansas and Greater Kansas City and serves as a member of their annual conference planning committee. Erica appreciates the impact of community awareness and enjoys educating rehabilitation professionals, corrections personnel and support groups throughout the year. Above all, there is nothing she relishes more than working with consumers and their families to achieve person-centered goals. She is currently pursuing a PhD at The University of Kansas in Therapeutic Sciences. Outside of work, Erica enjoys gardening, running and spending time with her family.

Track 2 Schedule

Presented by: Quantum Rehab
Presenter: Wade Lucas, PT, DPT, ATP/SMS

Course Description: Power wheelchair drive controls are constantly evolving with advancing technology. There is a wide range of these products and complex rehab equipment professionals often have limited exposure to the options that are available. This class will provide evaluating clinicians, Assistive Technology Professionals, and other seating/mobility professionals with knowledge of various drive control options and programming options available to provide maximal benefit to the end user.


  1. Participants will explain 2 programming features available for proportional drive controls that can increase independence and maximize function
  2. Participants will explain 2 programming features available for switched drive controls that can increase independence and maximize function.
  3. Participants will discuss 2 options for accessing and controlling power seating
    functions when utilizing switched drive control devices.

Speaker bio:
Wade Lucas, PT, DPT, ATP/SMS Quantum Rehab
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 clinic, 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 durable medical equipment company.

Presented by: ReWalk Robotics
Presenter: Lauren Dudas PT, DPT, MPH

Course Description: As the field of neurorehabilitation continues to progress, it is essential that physical therapists have a strong understanding of what technological tools are available to them and how best to incorporate these tools to optimize patient outcomes. In this talk, attendees will receive an overview of when and how to incorporate technology into currently utilized neuro rehab strategies. Listeners will also hear a deeper dive into exoskeletons and exosuits, including their history, application, and the current state of the research.


  1. Identify the role of technology in neurorehabilitation
  2. Identify clinical situations that would benefit from the addition of rehabilitative technology
  3. Explain the major similarities and differences between exoskeletons and exosuits

Speaker bio:
Lauren was an injury-prone athlete in high school with aspirations of pursuing a physical therapy career with a focus on sports rehab. While in college she volunteered at an acute rehab center where her passion changed from sports to neuro rehab – especially working with the CVA population and gait training. Lauren went on to graduate school at New York Medical College where she received both a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree as well as a Master’s in Public Health. She began her career at the Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation in West Orange, NJ working with the orthopedic, TBI, and CVA populations. In attempts to acquire additional work and life experiences, she went on to pursue travel PT for many years working in a variety of settings. With the goal of establishing roots and returning to the world of neuro rehab, she accepted the position as a Clinical Training Manager with ReWalk Robotics in March 2020 – right before the world shut down. The shift from a treating PT to tech company has expanded her clinical expertise and introduces a unique perspective to rehab. In this position, she is excited to continue traveling while educating and promoting therapeutic technology with the aim of assisting clinicians and patients in experiencing their greatest outcomes.

Presented by: NuMotion
Presenter: Danielle Mains, PT, ATP

Course Description: The International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Impairment (ICF) model and the provision of Complex Rehab Technology (CRT) go hand in hand. Through the use of the ICF categories, the CRT team can ensure thorough assessments and identification of needs. This course will examine the roles and responsibilities of the CRT Team members in relationship to the ICF model and provide a framework for effectively and compliantly participating in the provision of CRT.


By the end of this course, learners will be able to:

  1. Identify the individual roles and responsibilities of the CRT Team Members throughout the ICF Framework
  2. Recall how the Diagnosis Category of the ICF relates to Medicare coverage criteria requirements
  3. Connect mobility limitations to MRADL participation in the identification of appropriate CRT products
  4. Apply the ICF framework during a case study in order to demonstrate understanding of appropriate roles as well as proper identification and justification of equipment

Speaker Bio:
Danielle Mains, PT, ATP, Director of Clinical Education Danielle Mains is a 2007 graduate of the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, SC where she received a Master of Science in Rehabilitation Sciences-Physical Therapy degree. As a practicing therapist, Danielle spent 7 years working with the Pediatric and Geriatric populations with an emphasis on pediatric mobility. In 2014, Danielle decided to expand her reach with complex rehab and joined Numotion as an RTS and then ATP. Throughout the years, she has also had experience on the manufacturer side as a rehab sales specialist and served on a leadership team as product manager for a national CRT company. Her passion for educating others about CRT came full circle in February of 2020 when Danielle joined the Clinical Education team at Numotion. She is currently the Director of Clinical Education for Numotion. Danielle resides in Morehead, KY with her husband, Matt and four children, Hayden (17), Belle (13), Noah (8) and Kate (4).

Presented by: Mobility First & Ability KC
Presenter: Brittany Makin, PT, DPT, ATP, LSVT & Alison Carr, PT, DPT, CBIS

Course Description: This seminar will include a description, including case studies, as to why it is imperative to have a knowledgeable team when prescribing a wheelchair. 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 understand the importance of a team approach to wheelchair assessments.
  2. To review considerations for various types of wheelchairs and accessories.
  3. To explain how seating and positioning affect the functionality of wheelchair users.

Speaker bios:
Brittany Makin, PT, DPT, ATP, LSVT- Brittany attended University of Saint Mary (USM) and received a Bachelor’s of Science in Science in 2012. She also earned her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from USM in 2016. Brittany worked in neurological inpatient rehabilitation as a physical therapist for seven years before joining Mobility First in January of 2022. She currently works as an account manager, regional educator, and Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) for Mobility First. She recently received her ATP certificate in 2022. Brittany enjoys sourcing Kansas City with excellent customer service and care when ordering durable medical equipment.

Alison Carr, PT, DPT, CBIS- Alison is a graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, where she received her Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science in 2012 and then her Doctor of Physical Therapy in 2013. Alison has eight years of experience as a physical therapist and brain injury specialist. She feels fortunate to have had training to use new technologies and specialized therapeutic interventions, such as various robotic exoskeleton devices, functional electrical stimulation devices, and serial casting interventions, to assist her patients in their rehabilitation. Alison has enjoyed using her skills as a physical therapist in the outpatient setting, particularly in the Day Program at Ability KC in Kansas City, Missouri. Alison worked in inpatient rehabilitation for four years before joining Ability KC in November of 2017.

Presented by: Saint Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute
Presenters: Kara Patterson, PT, DPT, Sara Gerker, PT, DPT, Christy Bell, OTR/L, Laura Montgomery, OTR/L

Course Description: Saint Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute (SLRI) offers a multitude of robotics and advanced technologies to promote effective therapy and maximize neuroplastic recovery for patients with various neurological diagnoses. Therapists at SLRI are thoroughly trained on best practice with these devices and stay up to date on research. Specifically, advanced technology has been used at SLRI for physical therapists to promote high intensity stepping training, or HIST. HIST is a highly researched method of treatment focusing on working at a specified intensity level for patients with strokes, traumatic brain injuries, and incomplete spinal cord injuries. In addition to HIST, skilled incorporation of advanced technologies and robotics are utilized in occupational therapy to emphasize the principles of neuroplasticity with regards to repetition, intensity, salience, and focused use. These devices target the neuro re-education of the upper extremity but are often used in conjunction with cognitive interventions such as executive functioning, memory, and attention/perception to tailor services to the multi-faceted needs of our patient population. Advanced technology at SLRI continues to allow therapists to challenge patients in a safer, more effective, and comprehensive manner.


  1. Participants will learn about various advanced technologies used with physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy available at Saint Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute (SLRI)
  2. Discuss research regarding advanced technology devices
  3. Learn about high intensity stepping training (HIST) and current supporting research
  4. Examine how advanced technology can support the utilization of HIST
  5. Understanding the application of advanced upper extremity technologies to emphasize principles of neuroplasticity
  6. Incorporation of cognitive interventions with the use of advanced technologies

Speaker bios:
Kara graduated from Missouri State University in 2009 with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy and has since practiced exclusively in inpatient rehabilitation specializing in the management of patients with neurological injuries. Kara currently works at Saint Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute (SLRI) in Overland Park, KS as a practicing physical therapist and clinical supervisor where her roles include program development, mentorship and education, and facilitation of research. Prior to this position, Kara practiced at Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation in Dallas, Texas, as a lead therapist on the evidenced-based and innovative stroke team. At BSWIR, Kara’s research efforts centered on increasing the activity of patients with stroke during inpatient rehabilitation and implementation of overground robotic exoskeletons into clinical practice. Kara has a strong history of education and scientific and invited presentations both locally and nationally; she has taught many continuing education courses on the management of patients with neurological diagnoses, presented national presentations at various symposiums and conferences, and spent several years executing guest lectures and labs at local Doctor of Physical Therapy programs. Kara is passionate about managing patients with neurological diagnoses in the inpatient rehabilitation setting, advancing the education of those she mentors, and developing programs to maximize evidence-based outcomes with patients in her facility.

Sara graduated from University of Missouri at Columbia in 2016 with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. For her first year, she worked in an outpatient setting with orthopedic and neurological cases. However, she felt drawn to working with patients who are in the acute phase of their injuries, specifically patients
with neurological injuries. She transitioned to working at Saint Luke’s on the Plaza in the acute and inpatient rehabilitation setting and transitioned to Saint Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute when it opened in August 2019. She has completed courses on Neurodevelopmental Technique, or NDT, with a focus on the stroke population. She has followed current research and taken a course on high intensity stepping
training (HIST), a highly researched and effective treatment method, and assisted with implementation of this intervention at SLRI. She has progressed up the clinical ladder to a PT 3 (out of 4) based on her work as a subject matter expert on the Hunova, a unique balance machine at SLRI, and training other therapists to work with patients who have a Left Ventricular Assistive Device, or LVAD. Her passion remains in rehab, where her focus is on furthering her education on stroke rehab. She is eager to continue to develop her knowledge, specifically in patients with neurological injuries, and to begin assisting in research studies to continue advancing the field of physical therapy.

Christy graduated from University of Kansas Medical Center in 2015 with a Master’s in Occupational Therapy. For 7 years Christy has practiced primarily in the inpatient rehabilitation setting, dedicating her work to patients with spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. Christy currently works at Saint
Luke’s Rehabilitation Institute (SLRI) in Overland Park, KS as a practicing occupational therapist and supervisor. Prior to working at SLRI Christy played a vital role in creating and implementing a spinal cord injury protocol, following patients from onset of injury through their rehabilitation stay for Providence
Alaska Medical Center. Christy has provided SCI specific education available system wide for Saint Luke’s Health System and acts as the subject matter expert for the functional electrical stimulation upper extremity ergometer, mentoring therapists in evidenced based use. Christy is passionate about working
in the inpatient rehabilitation setting, specifically with SCI and is dedicated to advancing research in the field of occupational therapy.

Laura graduated from University of Kansas Medical Center in 2019 with a Masters in Occupational Therapy. Her previous experience as rehabilitation technician and clinical rotations in inpatient rehabilitation helped foster a desire to work alongside a complex patient caseload in the acute phase of their rehabilitative journey. She began her career with the opening of Saint Luke’s Rehabilitation
Institute in August 2019. Her passion for working with patients with neurological injuries has continued to develop with her recent certification in Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT). NDT is an approach to multidisciplinary treatment of neuromuscular dysfunction with emphasis on handling techniques and movement analysis. She has demonstrated additional clinical advancement with the development, implementation and maintenance of the Rehab Institute’s Therapy Garden for rehab patients to enjoy and to participate in functional and individualized treatment opportunities. Laura is an avid user of advanced technologies and robotics at SLRI and acts as the subject matter expert on the InMotion, a robotic designed for high-repetition neuro re-education of the shoulder and elbow. She is committed to helping to improve patient outcomes through evidence-based practice, assisting with emerging research to advance the field of occupational therapy, and furthering her knowledge and experience.

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