Students, faculty and alumni of the Belmont University School of Occupational Therapy served as presenters and volunteers at the 2011 International Seating Symposium (ISS) at Opryland Hotel earlier this month. The annual symposium, coordinated by the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, focuses on research; training & exhibits regarding wheeled mobility and seating; and solutions for people with disabilities. The audience is composed of primarily clinicians, medical manufacturers, rehab equipment suppliers and educators. Twenty-one students from Belmont, representing the Schools of Occupational and Physical Therapy, served as volunteers for the event. Lee Woodruff, author and contributing editor for ABC’s “Good Morning America,” served as the keynote speaker.
Dr. Teresa Plummer, Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy, presented at several symposium sessions. In one session, she presented her doctoral dissertation, “Participatory Action Research to Examine the Current State of Practice in Wheelchair Assessment and Procurement.” She also co-presented “A Practice Guide for Wheelchair Assessments” with Mary Shea of Kessler Rehabilitation in West Orange, N.J., and “Powered Mobility and the Effects on Visual / Perceptual Deficits” with 2005 Belmont OTD graduate, Casey Emery of Banner Good Samaritan/Touchstone Rehab in Phoenix.
“As a student attending ISS, I was fascinated by the international attention of assistive technology. I was quickly reminded of the excitement involved with my future career as an occupational therapist through the elaborate exhibits and meeting others from around the world who share the same passion,” said Jessica Rutledge, an OT student. “Hearing and meeting Lee Woodruff at the closing of the symposium served as an energizer for persevering through the stresses we encounter as students as she so eloquently described the greater stresses of clients and their families. ISS will now serve as a standard for me to one day attain such prestige as the professionals represented there.”