ISS Opens Its Doors to Consumers

The International Seating Symposium (ISS) has long been an event for seating & mobility clinicians and providers to come together, exchange ideas, learn from each other and view the newest assistive technology.

This year, the University of Pittsburgh is expanding that audience to include the consumers who ultimately use and benefit from that technology and those ideas.

The ISS exhibit hall will welcome consumers on Wednesday, March 6, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

The symposium is being held at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel & Convention Center in Nashville, Tenn.

ISS, hosted by the University of Pittsburgh’s department of rehabilitation science & technology continuing education program (RSTCE), is teaming with the consumer advocacy group UsersFirst to present See, Touch, Explore: The Wheelchair User Experience.

Mark Schmeler, Ph.D., OTR/L, ATP, director of the University of Pittsburgh’s RSTCE program, said in a news announcement, “The consumer is an integral part of the process, and it is critical they are aware of the technologies that are available to assist them in leading independent and barrier-free lives. Proper mobility equipment is essential, and we believe that seeing the products first hand and having conversations about them with knowledgeable professionals is important and timely.

“As reimbursement for seating & mobility products continues to decline and denials are far too common, an educated consumer can become his or her own best advocate.”

Consumers are invited to register at the site. Touring the exhibit hall on March 6 is free, but consumers do need attendee badges.

The UsersFirst site advises consumers attending the event to park in one of several event lots, then to bring the parking ticket to the Gaylord’s Ryman Exhibit Hall registration area to pick up name badges and parking vouchers.

Parking is free thanks to sponsorships from several industry manufacturers, including Amysystems, Permobil, Quantum Rehab and TiLite.

Ann Eubank, LMSW, OTR/L, ATP, CAPS, the VP of community initiatives for UsersFirst, noted that consumer visitors can benefit from chatting with industry attendees.

“ISS has traditionally attracted clinicians who specialize in prescribing seating products and wheelchairs,” she says. “This day is unique as the exhibit hall includes the latest technology, and the exhibits are staffed by trained professionals. Consumers are invited to interact with the equipment, ask questions and learn about the latest technology available that provides opportunities for freedom of movement.”

About the Author

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

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