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Using Seating to Enhance Movement of the Body in the Wheelchair

Using Seating to Enhance Movement of the Body in the Wheelchair

International Seating Symposium Recording 2015
Jessica Pedersen, OTR/L, ATP
Suzanne Eason, OT/L

Description: Movement is essential for quality of life. It allows us to understand our world around us and how we fit into thaworld. Movement encourages our brains to understand howour world is set up and how we form perceptual awareness which leads to complex learning. Without self-initiated movement or experience dependent movement we cannot learn how we can impact our lives and our world. (Morgan) These movements feed our brains, creating new connections and possibly improved sensorimotor performance. (Fox) Individuals with motor control challenges especially need an enriched environment including movement to improve sensorimotor performance. (Morgan) Neuroplasticity and improved gross motor functions best occurs with intrinsically
motivated action. (Morgan) Movement in a wheelchair seating system can also influence pressure management, comfort, cardiac, pulmonary and GI functions.

Speaker Bios:

Dr. Jessica Presperin Pedersen OTD, MBA, ATP/SMS works as a research OT Scientist at the Shirley Ryan AbilityLab (formerly the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) in the Center for Outcomes Research (CROR) and is an Assistant Professor at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She can be reached at

Suzanne Eason has been an occupational therapist for over 25 years and the director of Occupational Therapy Support Services at St. Mary’s Home in Norfolk, Va., for 16 years. Eason has found her calling as an advocate for individuals with complex medical conditions. Her motto: “We provide the foundations for function” has evolved into a small private practice. When not at SMHDC, she can be found at her busy home with her husband and 2 legged and four legged children.

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