Sold-Out Exhibit Hall Awaits ISS Attendees

It’s perhaps both exciting and somewhat expected that the 29th International Seating Symposium (ISS), slated for March 5-9 in Nashville, Tenn., has sold out its exhibit hall.

ISS has been robustly growing for years, and for years has been widely regarded as the premier event for the complex rehab technology industry -- the singular show that gathers both clinicians and providers who specialize in seating & mobility.

With an expanded program, this year’s ISS – appropriately themed as “Building the Future” -- promises to continue that upward trend.

More Unopposed Time

One of the challenges of attending such a high-quality and always-growing event is finding enough time to accomplish everything – from attending educational sessions to meeting with colleagues, from listening to keynotes to checking out new technology in the exhibit hall.

The University of Pittsburgh’s department of rehabilitation science & technology continuing education program (RSTCE) is hosting this year’s event at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center. And event director Mark Schmeler, Ph.D., OTR/L, ATP, and his colleagues have planned the 2013 edition to help out time-strapped attendees.

The exhibit hall will be open for eight hours on Wed., March 6, the day before the symposium officially begins. Consumers are also being invited to tour the hall free of charge on March 6 from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The hall will also be open on Thurs., March 7, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and on Friday, March 8, from 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Per tradition, several events will take place in the exhibit hall, including a welcome reception on Thursday evening, and breakfasts and lunches on Thursday and Friday.

A Full Roster of Educational Opportunities

Full-day pre-symposium educational courses are being offered Tues. and Wed., March 5 and 6. Topics range from Aging with a Disability: Evaluation, Clinical & Research Perspectives to Policy, Funding & the “Science” of Policy & Reimbursement; Wheelchair Provision in Less-Resourced Settings; Manual Wheelchair Selection, Configuration & Training; and Advanced Power Wheelchair Applications.

On Wednesday, lunches can be purchased in the exhibit hall, where consumers and professionals will be checking out the latest seating & mobility products.

The symposium officially opens on Thursday morning, with Schmeler and Rory Cooper, Ph.D., FISA/PVA, University of Pittsburgh department of rehabilitation science & technology, school of health & rehabilitation sciences, welcoming attendees.

Following that is a round of special sessions, and then the keynote address at 10 a.m. by Paul Tobin, MSW, president/CEO of United Spinal Association. Tobin’s talk is titled The Patient as an Empowered Consumer: Obstacles & Opportunities for the Rehab Patient in Patient-Centered Care.

On Friday, March 8, courses begin at 8 a.m. and run till 4:30 p.m, when the Forum begins. This year’s topic is Increases in Wheelchair Breakdowns, Repairs & Adverse Consequences by Lynn Worobey, University of Pittsburgh. The panel discussion will be Standardizing to a Higher Standard: Addressing Quality as a Known Challenge with Wheeled Mobility Products. The panel moderator is Kendra Betz, MSPT, ATP.

The annual ISS social event takes place at 7 p.m. at the World Famous Nashville Palace.

Educational sessions resume on Saturday morning at 8 a.m.

The closing session takes place at 11 a.m. with speaker John Register, an all-American in track and one of the United States’ premier hurdlers in the early 1990s. Register competed at the Olympic trials in 1988 and 1992 and was training in 1994 when he dislocated his knee while trying to clear a hurdle. The injury severed an artery and required the amputation of his left leg above the knee. Undaunted, Register competed at the 1996 Paralympic Games in Atlanta as a swimmer, and then won a silver medal in the long jump at the 2000 Sydney Paralympics.

For schedules, the exhibitor roster, registration information and additional details, visit

About the Author

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

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