Clinicians & ATPs 2015 Best Picks

Clinicians & ATPs 2015 Best PicksIt was a simple question: What seating & wheeled mobility products would ATPs and clinicians select if they were completely free to choose? If they weren’t being boxed in by inadequate allowables or someone else’s formularies?

Five years ago, we started asking. And we got answers. But what was as interesting as the technology selected were the reasons they were mentioned. Of course, the product needs to work well — but that can mean different things to different people. Durability is universally admired. So is adjustability. Ease of use, for both the seating & mobility professional and the client learning to master it, is critical.

And then there were the intangibles, the things you don’t see on an order form or during a product demonstration. Customer service from the manufacturer is probably the biggest intangible for today’s hard-pressed, always-moving clinician or ATP. How easy are the manufacturers to work with? If you need a custom build, a unique adjustment, a tweak here or there — will they accommodate you? Will they do so cheerfully? Quickly?

It seems the best-case scenario makes ATPs and clinicians feel that sales reps and manufacturers are an extension of the seating & mobility team. That everyone is on the same side with the same goal: Optimal mobility and independence for the consumer, and as quickly as possible.

This year, we mark the fifth anniversary of our ATP & Clinician Best Picks program by not only highlighting this year’s winners, but recalling past winners as well. Congratulations to five years’ worth of Best Picks, and thank you to the ATPs and clinicians who wrote in with their choices to make the program possible.

Rear View MirrorRear View Mirror

[This] rear view mirror [is] extremely adjustable and fits on almost anything. As you know, many power wheelchair users have trouble backing up, and this solves the problem. It can be mounted within the footprint of the chair if needed. If it can save money down the line, it’s worth it.

— Ellen Russell, ATP, CRTS, Matheny Rehab, Peapack, N.J.

Body Tech NW
(866) 315-0640

Zing MPSZing MPS

EasyStand has always led the industry when it comes to separate standing devices. Not only is the EasyStand Zing MPS a great-looking stander…it offers so much flexibility that many users will be able to benefit from its fantastic, well-thought-out features. One of my favorite things about this stander is that it allows the client to stand in up to 30° of hip abduction, which is supported in the research to promote hip alignment, stability and health. All adjustments are unilateral and can accommodate asymmetries in the client’s lower-extremity range of motion as well. This stander can also be used as a supine, upright or prone stander without any cumbersome and time-consuming adjustment to the stander. It is an ideal solution for small children who need to stand for health and function, as the size 1 unit can support children from infancy up to 44” and 70 lbs. Way to go, EasyStand…this stander is a slam dunk!

— Amy Morgan, PT, ATP, Permobil, Lebanon, Tenn.

(800) 342-8968


Best wheel that is reliable and handles the daily grind patients go through when propelling an ultralightweight manual wheelchair.

— Brock Beasley, ATP, CRTS, CDSS, National Seating & Mobility, Atlanta

(760) 496-2121

ATOM Head ArrayATOM Head Array

I really like ASL’s new ATOM head array. The fact that standard in the head array is a system that allows the user to interface with a computer or AAC device makes it a less expensive option and negates needing to order products that frequently are not funded by payor sources. With this head array, the user can actually truly turn the chair on and off instead of having to go into sleep or idle mode, which is great for the client, too. The clear connection port is also great because it makes it easy to know whether the user is operating the chair or in the alternative mode.

— Lauren Rosen, PT, MPT, MSMS, ATP/SMS, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital of Tampa (Fla.)

Adaptive Switch Laboratories
(800) 626-8698


Such a great option for folks with breakdown or risks for breakdown over the spinous processes and/or prominent rib surfaces.

— Sharon Frant Brooks, MA, OTR/L, ATP/SMS, CRTS, Acclaimed Healthcare, Lakewood, N.J.

(800) 851-3449


I continue to be impressed with the TiLite TWIST. It is the most adjustable and lightweight pediatric chair around. Even in the teeny-tiny kids, the regular rear wheel configuration is working well, and they can access the wheels without the chair being tippy. I have yet to put a client into one who has not been successful. Parents also love the look of the chair. It’s such a minimal chair that you really see the kid and not the chair, even when we have to add some minor positioning components.

— Lauren Rosen, PT, MPT, MSMS, ATP/SMS, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital of Tampa (Fla.)

(800) 545-2266

Power Buddy & Power PouchPower Buddy & Power Pouch

A great and relatively inexpensive option for people who cannot afford the light kit options on power wheelchairs, but who need lights for outdoor evening mobility — which of course falls outside of the indoor mobility needs rules coverage for some.

— Sharon Frant Brooks, MA, OTR/L, ATP/SMS, CRTS, Acclaimed Healthcare, Lakewood, N.J.

Active Controls
(800) 324-1527

Anterior Tilt (F3/F5 Power Bases)Anterior Tilt (F3/F5 Power Bases)

Anterior tilt as a power seat function has had limited availability in the industry and is not currently coded under the PDAC coding system. Despite these things, anterior tilt can provide exceptional benefits to wheelchair users both functionally and physiologically. For some, just a small change in orientation anteriorly can effectively manage tone and abnormal reflexes, which can often interfere with function. In addition, small amounts of anterior tilt lowers front seat-to-floor height and can be the difference between getting under a table/desk or being limited by the lower extremities. Many power wheelchair users would be able to use anterior tilt to assist with functional reach, making the user independent with performing mobility-related ADLs including self-care, hygiene, cooking, cleaning, laundry and much more! It is amazing how much access is improved with just 20° of anterior tilt! Even further, there are individuals who need to transfer out of their power wheelchair, but just don’t have the strength to do so. The 45° stand-pivot transfer package is ideal to assist with this task — making transfers much easier and allowing them to be performed independently.

(800) 736-0925

Golden Compass Sport GP605CCGolden Compass Sport GP605CC

This is a K0823 power wheelchair that comes with a Dynamic Linx controller that has the ability to communicate wirelessly with an iPhone or iPad through the Linx access key or “dongle.” The access key plugs directly into the controller on the power wheelchair to perform programming and diagnostic tasks. I like it because I can perform instant wireless programming and diagnostics. Not only is this great for setting up the wheelchair; it is excellent for the technicians. This is a great tool for therapists, ATPs and technicians. Golden Technologies’ representation is excellent in our market, too, and for that reason and this technology, this is my Best Pick.

— Rick Graver, ATP, Medtech Services Inc., Reno, Nev.

Golden Technologies
(800) 624-6374

Adjustable-Angle Gel-Padded FootboxesAdjustable-Angle Gel-Padded Footboxes

Much better construction than previous angle-adjustable footboxes and with a very nice interior padded system of SynerGel.

— Sharon Frant Brooks, MA, OTR/L, ATP/SMS, CRTS, Acclaimed Healthcare, Lakewood, N.J.

Gel Ovations
(888) 435-6828


They are amazing saviors for the wrists, shoulders and elbows by reducing the cumulative stress that propulsion can cause.

— Sharon Frant Brooks, MA, OTR/L, ATP/SMS, CRTS, Acclaimed Healthcare, Lakewood, N.J.

(760) 496-2121

High TowerHigh Tower

As an ATP that is also a CDRS (Certified Driver Rehabilitation Specialist), [I] deal a lot with wheelchair transportation and occupied wheelchair transit. B&D Independence has rolled out a new electric wheelchair docking system that I think many of the seating folks will be interested in. I like it because it removes the problems encountered with ground clearance for docking brackets, and it is more stable since it is mounted with a higher center of gravity. It does not increase width dimension.

— C. Dan Allison Jr., MS, OTR/L, ATP, CDRS, Shepherd Center, Atlanta

B&D Independence Inc.
(800) 292-7117


The QM-710 is made by Sunrise Medical and up until its introduction, patients did not have a good center-wheeldrive option, one that would handle well outdoors and still climb their ramps and lifts without needing to have some momentum behind it. That is because of the SpiderTrac suspension that it has — as the front wheels raise up to meet the new terrain, the drive wheels are forced down to keep good traction. The chair has a great turning radius for indoor mobility and great outdoor capability.

— Jeff Bour, BA, ATP, CRTS, Carelinc, Grandville, Mich.

Sunrise Medical
(800) 333-4000

Modular Hose Peripheral Attachment SystemModular Hose Peripheral Attachment System

Here is one of my favorite AT picks to assist with positioning switches, AAC devices and iPads.

— Leslie Jackson, OTR/L, ATP, CEASIII Zap
(800) 759-2839

Vector X with Glide WearVector X with Glide Wear

I love the Glide Wear technology. When chosen for the right individual, it’s great to reduce the amount of shear force in the transfer, and I have found it to help the “active” crowd who continually moves and shifts in the chair without pressure relieving. Great cushion, great covers.

— Rob Lins, ATP, RTS, Home MediService Inc., Havre de Grace, Md.

Comfort Company
(800) 564-9248


Used consistently while covering the ALS clinic in Atlanta (Emory University).

— Brock Beasley, ATP, CRTS, CDSS, National Seating & Mobility, Atlanta

(800) 736-0925

Seating & PositioningSeating & Positioning

They will work with you to find any solution possible for power wheelchair seating.

— Brock Beasley, ATP, CRTS, CDSS, National Seating & Mobility, Atlanta

Motion Concepts
(888) 433-6818


The Evoflex Pelvic Stabilizer is a great solution for pelvic positioning belts that are consistently falling down and getting lost in the wheelchair frame/base. If a belt gets caught in the wheel of a manual or power wheelchair, it can be problematic for the chair itself or even worse, a safety issue for the wheelchair user. The Evoflex ensures that the belt is accessible to the user and is protected from damaging the wheelchair by using stiffened end straps to keep the belt in place. The straps can also rotate down and out of the way (to be parallel to the seat rail) for people who perform lateral transfers. Additionally, the stiffened ends allow users with less manual dexterity to be able to independently don the pelvic belt. This concept is genius and alleviates many frustrations both in manual and power wheelchairs.

— Amy Morgan, PT, ATP, Permobil, Lebanon, Tenn.

(800) 547-5716

F3 & F5 Power BasesF3 & F5 Power Bases

I have to give it to Permobil for their new F5 and F3 platforms. The new system really is well done. I think the fact that all configurations will eventually be done off of the same platform is pretty impressive. My clients who have seen the bases are impressed by the styling as well. I can’t wait to have them try it out in the clinic.

— Lauren Rosen, PT, MPT, MSMS, ATP/SMS, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital of Tampa (Fla.)

(800) 736-0925

Smart DriveSmart Drive

A wonderful alternative to power wheels, lighter and easier for many users who need to take the power-assist on and off, like folks who use cars, not vans.

— Sharon Frant Brooks, MA, OTR/L, ATP/SMS, CRTS, Acclaimed Healthcare, Lakewood, N.J.

Loving the new version of the Smart Drive. It’s so simple to operate and much easier now that less has to be mounted to the wheelchair and there isn’t a separate battery. My clients appreciate the light weight and ease of loading into their vehicles.

— Lauren Rosen, PT, MPT, MSMS, ATP/SMS, St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital of Tampa (Fla.)

MAX Mobility
(800) 637-2980

Smart CheckSmart Check

Smart Check makes it easy to ensure ROHO single-valve cushions are maintained and set up for maximum skin protection. Not only does this technology use a pre-set range for safe inflation (which was determined by collecting and analyzing data on hundreds of wheelchair users), but it also allows the clinical team to dial in a more precise safe range for individual users. Having this available brings peace of mind to the wheelchair user and also gives clinicians more confidence in prescribing a ROHO cushion — knowing that SmartCheck is taking the guesswork out of achieving proper inflation and immersion.

(800) 851-3449

Elevation Ultralight ChairElevation Ultralight Chair

The Elevation ultralightweight manual wheelchair provides access to seat elevation and anterior tilting to manual wheelchair users. Previously, this technology was only available on power wheelchair platforms. The Elevation provides improved functional reach (both vertically and anteriorly) to significantly improve independence with mobility-related ADLs. Having this functionality available in an ultralightweight wheelchair is incredible. PDG has raised the bar for manual wheelchair design with this chair.

— Amy Morgan, PT, ATP, Permobil, Lebanon, Tenn.

PDG Mobility
(888) 858-4422

Brock’s Best Picks

In addition to specific remarks on several Best Pick products, Brock Beasley, ATP, CRTS, CDSS, with National Seating & Mobility’s Atlanta office offered comments about other complex rehab manufacturers and their technology. A seating & mobility consumer as well as an ATP, Beasley has a dual perspective, and his favorites are worth sharing… which we do here.

TiLite: “I use one, and that says a lot.”
(800) 545-2266,

MAX Mobility’s Smart Drive: “I also use one.”
(800) 637-2980,

Ride Designs, for both cushions and backs: “Best for custom-molded systems.”
(866) 781-1633,

Accessible Designs Inc. for wheelchair backrests.
(888) 684-2234,

Easystand for standers.
(800) 342-8968,

Snug Seat for pediatric mobility.
(800) 336-7684,

Stealth Products: “It’s their people.”
(800) 965-9229,

This article originally appeared in the July 2015 issue of Mobility Management.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at

In Support of Upper-Extremity Positioning