Wheelchair Seating Assessment: Positioning the Lower Extremities

presented by Michelle L. Lange

Accreditation Check:

What is addressed in wheelchair positioning after the pelvis and trunk? The lower extremities. The goals of positioning the legs are to achieve a neutral alignment, when possible, or accommodate range limitations if not. This course will systematically address potential lower extremity positioning challenges with suggested interventions. By specifically positioning the legs, the seating system provides stability, function and even protection from injury.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Michelle L. Lange, OTR/L, ABDA, ATP/SMS

    Michelle is an occupational therapist with nearly 30 years of experience in the area of assistive technology. She is the former Clinical Director of The Assistive Technology Clinics of The Children’s Hospital of Denver and has been in private practice at Access to Independence, Inc. for 10 years. Michelle’s work in assistive technology covers a broad range of roles and services. She evaluates and treats children and adults with a variety of diagnoses as well as provides consultation and education in the areas of wheelchair seating and mobility, accessibility, assistive technology access, mounting, interfacing, and electronic aids to daily living. Michelle is a well-respected lecturer both nationally and internationally and has presented over 500 workshops, courses, webinars, and recorded content. Michelle is on the teaching faculty of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). She develops educational content for Numotion, the National Registry of Rehabilitation Technology Suppliers (NRRTS), and MedGroup. Michelle is the editor of Fundamentals in Assistive Technology, 4th Ed. (RESNA Press) and Clinical Editor of NRRTS Directions magazine. She is also former Editor of the Technology Special Interest Section (TSIS) of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Michelle has authored 6 book chapters and over 200 articles. She is a reviewer for Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology Journal and the Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development (JRRD). She is also a member of the RESNA Assistive Technology Journal Editorial Board. She is on the advisory board. Michelle is a past RESNA Secretary, Member at Large, member of the Board of Directors, Education Chair and the Wheelchair Seating and Mobility Special Interest Group Vice Chair. She is a past member of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center (RERC) on Wheeled Mobility Advisory Board, is a member of the Clinician Task Force and a Friend of NRRTS. Michelle is a certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) and Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS). She is also a Senior Disability Analyst of the American Board of Disability Analysts (ABDA).

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

Download Learning Objectives
  1. Positioning Lower Extremities: Hips

    1. Positioning Lower Extremities: Hips

    This chapter will present positioning challenges seen at the hips, possible causes and suggested strategies to correct to neutral, if flexible. Goals of correcting this asymmetry will also be presented which can, in turn, be used as justification for seating interventions in documentation. Addressing positioning needs at the hips increases stability and function.

  2. Positioning the Lower Extremities: Knees

    2. Positioning the Lower Extremities: Knees

    This chapter will address positioning challenges at the knees, possible causes, suggested solutions and goals. Addressing positioning needs at the knees facilitates overall posture, promotes stability and may ease transfers and maneuverability of the wheelchair.

  3. Positioning the Lower Extremities: Ankle and Foot

    3. Positioning the Lower Extremities: Ankle and Foot

    This chapter will address ankle and foot range limitations, including causes, suggested solutions and goals of correction. Positioning the foot accommodates loss of range and protects the foot, as well as providing stability.