Come and see the latest equipment and services for the disability sector and hear from over 40 international and local industry experts on key topics at the ATSA Independent Living Expo. Two days, from May 16-17, in one great location, at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

The full education program has been announced and for the first time there will be panel discussion on the opportunities and value of occupational therapy in the assistive technology sector.

Russ Rolte from Active Controls will show how high tech modular controls located on a power wheelchair, can be operated by a finger, hand, chin or head.  The positioning of the control to a centre mounted gel platform provides a number of benefits including reducing the physical movements necessary to operate a joystick or alternative drive control.

The central position and bilateral support services are ergonomically conducive to maintaining neutral positioning of the shoulder, elbow and wrist while the chair is being driven, Active Controls CEO Michael Flowers told F2L. “We recommend addressing drive control location for every individual who is prescribed specialty seating in order to provide the benefits of each postural support system.”

Physiotherapist Harald Sieweke, head of the Meyra Academy in Germany also joins the program and will discuss Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), one of the most frequently occurring and rapidly progressive of the childhood neuromuscular disorders that affect approximately one in 3500 male births worldwide. “The target of my keynote is to discuss ways to assess power-wheelchairs to the DMD user as well as integration into normal structures of their age group, self-determination, psychosocial consolidation of their identity and avoiding of a wheelchair crisis,” he told F2L. He will also show a short movie about the natural timeline of DMD involving boys, “but occasionally girls are affected too”, he said.

With over 150 exhibitors showcasing their products the expo is an event not to be missed.  And for those unable to attend this expo, there will be another ATSA show in Perth, from May 30-31.

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