10 Years: Perspectives from the Industry
I wish I could say when I launched Mobility Management 10 years ago that I knew what the future would hold. Th at I knew complex rehab would be carved out of competitive bidding; that accessible homes would become so mainstream they would be featured on an “Extreme Makeover” reality TV program and pull up an easy 67 pages in a Google search; or that early intervention would come to mean 12-month-old children using mobility equipment about the same time as their able-bodied counterparts start walking.
I didn’t. But what I did know was that mobility and complex rehab were different than the rest of HME. Th at they had — and have — special needs that weren’t being covered by any other media, and that they needed — and need more than ever — a voice of their own to thrive as a business and help their customers thrive as people.
And in an industry that has experienced so much change in the last decade, these needs have remained constant.
Looking into the future, I would venture to say these needs are even more imperative than when this magazine was conceived in Los Angeles in October 2001.
It’s also a future to which Editor Laurie Watanabe and I are committed. In the last decade we have reveled in this industry’s successes. We’ve watched the level of professionalism increase with ATP designation and with accreditation. We’ve reported on product innovations as manufacturers have taken advantage of the digital revolution and made important strides in wheelchair technology and electronics. We’ve chronicled the many new places end-users can go and tasks they can master with increased home and auto accessibility. We’ve written about how the quality of life for children has been boosted with changes in dynamic seating. We have promoted the industry’s everincreasing connection to the people who use their products and services through social media, through associations like Users First Alliance, and through the many, many visits industry professionals have made with them to lawmakers nationally and locally.
What we perhaps have not done enough is say thank you publicly.
This special 10th anniversary edition of Mobility Management is for ATG Rehab, National Seating & Mobility, United Seating & Mobility and all other providers, ATPs, RTS’s, OTs and PTs who tirelessly work in seating & mobility. And to the manufacturers, especially EZ-ACCESS, Invacare Corp., Permobil, Pride Mobility Products, Sunrise Medical, TiLite, and U.S. Rehab, who took a leap of faith to support this magazine and continue to support it 10 years later.
We would not be here without the time, attention and feedback all of you have shared with us. Th ank you for the privilege of allowing us to work so closely with you. Frankly, we wouldn’t have it any other way.
— Karen Cavallo
This article originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of Mobility Management.