University of Pittsburgh RSTCE Launches 2021 ISS Survey

As the 2020 COVID-19 public health emergency continues, the University of Pittsburgh’s Rehabilitation Science & Technology Continuing Education (RSTCE) is looking ahead to the March 2021 International Seating Symposium (ISS).

The RSTCE will host the 2021 event, scheduled for the week of March 15 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh.

Mark Schmeler, Ph.D., OTR/L, ATP, Associate Professor/Vice-Chair for Education & Training, is the Director of the 2021 ISS. On Aug. 27, he sent out an e-mail to ask potential attendees about their current plans for the ISS.

A four-question survey asks participants’ interest in attending the ISS in person, remotely, or not at all based on potential COVID-19 situations in the new year.

“The survey is sort of a straw poll to gauge people's thoughts based on three scenarios,” he told Mobility Management. “In the next few months we have to carefully gauge our resources and make a decision on what direction we head in.

“Knowing stakeholder perspective (as a whole) is only one factor that will help in this decision. It could also be that the university, government, and other authorities will dictate what we can do, regardless of stakeholder preference. The logistics of a remote or hybrid conference are also being carefully evaluated, and there are now many options. Booth and registration fees are also being carefully reassessed, but I can assure people that as a university, there will be equity to what we and the ISS advisory board decide over the next month or two.”

The survey deadline is Wed., Sept. 9, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time. Survey responses are anonymous, and answering the survey does not commit you to participating in the ISS in any way.


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

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