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March 15-17, 2024

Los Angeles Convention Center, West Hall A

Fri. 11am-5pm | Sat. 11am-5pm | Sun 11am-4pm

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Hierarchy of Power Wheelchair Drive Controls: Maximizing Access and Independence


Friday, February 21, 2020
10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Los Angeles Convention Center
Room 510 (directly above the Expo hall)
Los Angeles, CA 
Credits: 0.4 CEU
Level: Intermediate

This course requires registration at Abilities Expo in addition to registration with Pride Mobility / Quantum Rehab. Space is limited and seats are reserved on a first come, first serve basis.

Julie Piriano, PT, ATP/SMS

Students should have basic understanding of power wheelchair controls including set up and programming.

Target Audience:
Licensed/Certified Medical Professional (i.e. PT, OT, Physician, Nurse), Rehab Professional (ATP, SMS, CRTS)

Power Wheelchair

Course Description:
There are many considerations to make when assessing an individual for power mobility use. The decisions made will impact not only the individual’s mobility, but also how they reposition themselves, interact socially, and access their environment. There are many options for drive controls on the market today, so how does the assistive technology professional choose a device when the standard joystick is not an option? This course is designed to introduce the participants to the wide array of specialty controls available on the market and provide insight on the clinical decision-making process of drive control choice. The course will include case studies and a hands-on component for participants to assess the various alternative drive control options.

Learning Objective(s):
At the conclusion of the course the participant will be able to:

  1. Apply the hierarchy of drive controls to the selection of power wheelchair drive controls.
  2. Discuss 2 options for controlling power seating functions when utilizing proportional and non-proportional control devices.
  3. Explain 2 programming features available for proportional drive controls that can increase independence and maximize function.
  4. Explain 2 programming features available for non-proportional drive controls that can increase independence and maximize function.


Hour 1

  • Introduction/Key Concepts
  • Hierarchy of Proportional Control Options
  • Mounting Options
  • Programming for Proportional Controls

Hour 2

  • Programming Options continued
  • Hierarchy of Non-Proportional Control Options
  • Mounting Options

Hour 3

  • Programming for Non-Proportional Controls
  • Introduction of Case Studies and Exhibit hall activity
  • Case Study/Exhibit hall activity

Hour 4

  • Case Study /Exhibit hall activity continued
  • Presentation of Case Studies

Instructional Methods:
Lecture, Demonstration, Case Studies, Brainstorming

AOTA Classification Code:
Occupational Therapy Process: Evaluation

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