New APTA Special Interest Group Focuses on Seating & Mobility

A new Special Interest Group (SIG) of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) is focusing on seating & mobility.

The official name of the new group, which is within APTA's neurology section, is Assistive Technology/Seating & Wheeled Mobility (AT/SWM).

The group's mission and objectives reads in part, "To enable Neurology Section Members to increase knowledge, improve evidence-based practice, and foster the development of new practitioners in this specialized area of practice. This SIG will also empower members to serve clients with neurological conditions at the highest level and to perform research activities to grow the evidence related to the efficacy of Assistive Technology/Seating & Wheeled Mobility."

In explaining the need for the new SIG, APTA noted that clients with conditions including spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy and cerebral vascular accident often need assistive technology, but that formerly, no APTA group "focused on developing knowledge and fostering evidence-based practice in the evaluation, prescription and training of individuals to effectively use AT/SWM."

APTA points out that the aging U.S. population as well as longer life expectancies for people with disabilities will result in increased need for assistive technology products.

In a related news release, ROHO Inc. said the new group "fills a void." ROHO Clinical Applications Manager Tricia Garven, PT, ATP, was one of the key professionals contributing to the creation of the SIG.

"At ROHO, we believe we all have a stake to improve outcomes for anyone at risk for deep tissue injury," Garven said in the company's announcement. "We have a long-standing commitment to what we call 'the science of safe seating.' Working with and helping educate professionals in the area of AT/SWM is further evidence of that commitment."

The SIG is seeking new members; to qualify, professionals must be an APTA member and a member of the neurology section.

About the Author

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

Rolling Dynamics, Rolling Resistance &  Optimizing Wheeled Prosthetics