ISS Ready to Welcome Complex Rehab Industry to Nashville

With springtime finally on its way, seating & mobility professionals are packing their bags and heading next week to Nashville, Tenn., home of the International Seating Symposium.

The Symposium — themed “Revolution, Evolution” — takes place March 3-5, with pre-event educational sessions on March 1-2.

The annual conference has a new venue this year: the expansive Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center in Nashville.

The keynote speaker is Al Condeluci, Ph.D., CEO of United Cerebral Palsy/Community Living and Support Services (CP/CLASS). Condeluci is described as “an advocate and catalyst for building community capacities and understanding culture since 1970.” UCP/CLASS — which offers a range of services to people with varying abilities — is the third-largest disability-specific agency in western Pennsylvania, and has “created a family of corporations dedicated to its mission: Working towards a community where each belongs.” Condeluci also teaches at the University of Pittsburgh’s school of social work and school of health and rehabilitation science.

The speaker for the closing session is Lee Woodruff, author and contributing editor to Good Morning America. Woodruff co-authored her New York Times best-selling book In an Instant with her husband Bob Woodruff, an ABC News anchor who sustained a traumatic brain injury while working in Iraq in 2006. The Woodruffs also founded the Bob Woodruff Foundation, “to assist wounded servicemen and their families (in receiving) the long-term care that they need and help them to successfully reintegrate into their communities.”

Symposium Course Director Mark Schmeler, Ph.D., OTR/L, ATP, will open the event at 8:30 a.m. on March 3, with opening remarks from Rory Cooper, Ph.D., professor in the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology.

The main conference takes place March 3-5 and features educational presentations from top ATPs and clinicians specializing in seating & mobility. Offerings include hour- and two-hour sessions, poster presentations and paper presentations.

Scheduled speakers and presenters include Claudia Amortegui, Josh Anderson, Kendra Betz, Jim Black, Lois Brown, Sheila Blochlinger, Sheila Buck, Mary Ellen Buning, Theresa Clancy, Don Clayback, Laura Cohen, Elizabeth Cole, Barbara Crane, Gerry Dickerson, Gary Gilberti, Kevin Gouy, Eric Grieb, Mark Greig, Shirley Groer, Michelle Gunn, Darren Hammond, Tricia Henley, Thomas Hetzel, Andy Hicks, Rita Hostak, Susan Johnson, Karen Kangas, Patricia Karg, Andrew Kwarciak, Roslyn Livingstone, Simon Margolis, Jacqueline Macauley, Dave McCausland, Patrick Meeker, Jean Minkel, Amy Morgan, Ginny Paleg, Tim Pederson, Julie Piriano, Theresa Plummer, Sharon Pratt, Mark Richter, Russell Rodriguez, Lauren Rosen, Paul Schulte, Stephen Sprigle, Bryce Sutton, Stephanie Tanguay, Susan Johnson Taylor, Anjali Webber, Jacqueline Wolz and John Zona.

Pre-event sessions include:

Fundamentals of Wheelchair Seating & Mobility (Mark Schmeler, Julie Piriano, Kendra Betz)

Policy & Funding for Mobility Assistive Equipment in the USA (moderated by Gerry Dickerson, to include panelists Cara Bachenheimer, Laura Cohen, Rita Hostak, Jean Minkel and Julie Piriano)

Power Wheelchair Assessment (Michelle Lange)

Ergonomic Seating: Wheelchair Adaptation — You Are the Designer! (Bengt Engström)

Go Baby Go! The Science, Training & Technology of Early Wheeled Mobility (Lauren Rosen, Ann Eubank, Cole Galloway, Lisa Rotelli)

Service Delivery Innovations & Strategies in Implementing a Wheeled Mobility & Seating Program (Carmen DiGiovine, Theresa Berner, Richard Schein)

For more information on the 2011 International Seating Symposium, visit

About the Author

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

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