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RehabWeek Panel Discussions

The RehabWeek will feature three very interesting panel discussions this year.

Please find the topics and abstracts below.

We very much welcome questions and comments from the audience during these discussions!


Getting the Ball Rolling: Using Assistive Technology with Children

Organizer: RESNA


Introducing assistive technology to children with limitations or delays in their development has the potential to dramatically change the trajectory of their opportunities for development and education. Childhood represents a continuum of increasingly complex social and sensorimotor interactions and changing environments. Early goals may focus on developing social and motor skills through interacting with adapted power toys on the cul de sac with neighbor kids on their trikes and bikes. At school, where the curriculum and career goals dictate tasks, opportunities to engage in learning with peers may require the use of accommodations to compensate for combined sensory and motor challenges. Teens within a community and independent living curriculum may be on a trajectory toward supported employment in a group home. In their educational program, the use of mobile devices as cognitive aids to support task sequencing or identifying the correct city bus to get to a worksite. Panelist will represent each of these developmental stages as they talk about their involvement with children in non-clinical environments such as home, school, and work.


Rehab tech development deployment assessment

Organizer: Jointly organized by ACRM/ICORR/IISART and IFESS


Rehabilitation technologies have the potential to mitigate the inefficiencies in healthcare, to help optimize clinical outcomes, and to directly solve the perennial problem of lack of accessibility for those who are not in or near a large medical, academic or research institution. Exciting advances in rehabilitation technologies to address these problems has led some to call this period of time the “Fourth Industrial revolution”! However, the uptake of rehabilitation technology has been frustratingly slow. Several issues limit the enthusiastic and effective uptake of rehabilitation technologies. Some of these include “technophobia”, or fear of technologies and what they will mean in the healthcare sector, clinician challenges in the face of the current healthcare environment, ease of use for the end-user, and very real concerns regarding the funding for these technologies, whether for deployment in healthcare facilities, the community or in the home by the individual user.

One of the overarching issues is the lack of a unified construct guiding the development and deployment of rehabilitation technologies. Specifically, what is the technology trying to do; what problem is it trying to solve? What role will this technology have in comprehensive care and along the continuum of health and function? When technology is deployed, when, where, how, and by whom is it used? What data do we need to evaluate the utility, utilization and effectiveness of its’ use? Traditional randomized clinical trials alone cannot address these issues. Pragmatic trials and “big data” strategies offer opportunities to answer these questions. A panel of experts in technology, clinical administration, and research will discuss these issues. Panelists will elaborate on potential strategies that will not only inform the development of novel rehabilitation technologies, but do so in a manner that will generate evidence that can be used in an iterative fashion for future development, uptake and effective utilization of rehabilitation technologies.

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