Entry into the AT field:
How I got into the
As an orthopedic surgeon, I
spent six months as a Fellow at the Rancho Los Amigos Rehab Hospital in Downey,
CA, and was exposed to rehabilitation engineering by Drs. Vernon Nichols,
Jacqueline Perry, Alice Garrett, and Royce Suclson, the orthotic staff, plus
Jim Allen and Andy Karchak of Rehab Engineering. My in-depth exposure was
working with Ronney Snell, CPO, and Doug Hobson, P. Eng, in Memphis.
Important event(s) that influenced
my early decision to get into the assistive technology field
Working with Ronney Snell, CPO, and Doug Hobson,
Why I chose the AT
To bring much needed
engineering technology to solving the problems of disabled children. Seating
for the severely involved child with cerebral palsy was a great need locally
My inspiration and
Ronney Snell, Doug Hobson, and
I established the University of Tennessee Rehabilitation Engineering Program
and worked together for the duration of the program.
Why the field is important to me
and the central focus of my work
central focus of our Center was developing a system of seating for severely
handicapped cerebral palsy children then communication devices and various
other assistive devices.
My memorable successes and
greatest contributions to the field
Developing concepts of seating techniques for CP
involved children, using prefabricated modular systems, and teaching these
concepts as an international basis. Use of multidisciplinary approaches to
applying rehabilitation engineering care for severely disabled children,
particularly seating for CP children and developing externally powered
prosthetic systems for limb deficient children.
My most memorable
Loss of major local funding
source and staff leading to closure of program.
Significant changes and advances
in the field since I first entered it
Marked expansion of professionals *(engineers,
MDs, therapists) actively involved in both research and clinical application of
rehabilitation engineering technology. Informative exchange between engineering
professionals and health care professional leading to more widespread
rehabilitation engineering solutions for severely handicapped persons.
On the future of rehabilitation
engineering and assistive technology
Greater use of engineering technology worldwide
to solve major problems of the handicapped.
My role within RESNA and what it
gave back to me
I was part of the
establishment of the RESNA organization and advocate of more training in
rehabilitation engineering principles in both engineering and health care
On the future of RESNA
To continue as the premiere organization for
communication and advocacy in rehabilitation engineering.
My suggestions for those just
entering the field
A wonderful choice
of health care career; unlimited opportunity to enhance the life of handicapped
persons and their families.