Entry into the AT field:
In 1973, I began work at the VA
Prosthetics Center (VAPC) in New York City as a staff orthotist.
How I got into the
After driving a taxi cab in New
York City for 5 years I jumped at the opportunity to begin an apprenticeship at
Important event(s) that influenced
my early decision to get into the assistive technology field
My mother had severe diabetes and lost her leg as
a result of a mosquito bite. Her use of a lower limb prosthesis led to my
interest in technology for people with disabilities.
Why I chose the AT
My inspiration and
There were two individuals who
were instrumental in developing my leadership style. Mette Norgaard and David
Miller helped me to understand how to interact with the widest variety of
professionals and clients alike.
Why the field is important to me
and the central focus of my work
work over the past two decades as a leader and coordinator in various
organizations has allowed me the opportunity to help thousands of people with
disabilities by working with and for the people who serve them.
My memorable successes and
greatest contributions to the field
The development and commercialization of two
specific seated positioning components, the BiAngular Back and the Subasis Bar,
and the associated systematic application of these as seated positioning
intervention strategies. My greatest contribution is serving as a founder and
President and most recently as Executive Director of NRRTS, the National
Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers.
My most memorable
My single biggest failure
was my inability to both run a private seating and wheeled mobility company and
work as a clinical seating professional in the field.
Significant changes and advances
in the field since I first entered it
When I started in seating and wheeled mobility
service delivery virtually every seating system we produced was customized and
built from scratch. Today, most everything we used to make is commercially
available - often to the detriment of the clients who need these interventions.
The most significant changes are the advent of the ATS and ATP credential and
the establishment of credentialing through NRRTS has changed the landscape of
service provision. The adoption by CMS of the ATP credential as a sign of
expertise in seating and wheeled mobility has been disastrous to the quality of
seating and wheeled mobility service delivery provided to Complex
Rehabilitation Technology consumers. This is not a criticism of the RESNA
certification program. It does reflect, however, my feeling that CMS' "any
port-in-a-storm" mentality was a serious mistake. CMS adopted a credential to
represent a level of expertise in seating and wheeled mobility that was clearly
intended, by RESNA, to be a very broad-based entry level AT credential - not a
On the future of rehabilitation
engineering and assistive technology
In the area of fee-for-service seating and
wheeled mobility service delivery the future is very bleak unless we are able,
through Federal legislation, to establish a stable and sustainable business
environment. It is only through this sustainability and stability that access
to appropriate seating and wheeled mobility technology will be assured for
Americans with significant physical and functional disabilities.
My role within RESNA and what it
gave back to me
I have been Chair of
the RESNA SIG-09. I served as RESNA's Treasurer, Secretary, and
On the future of RESNA
My suggestions for those just
entering the field
Things can only