Wheelchair Skills Program:
With the responsibility of prescribing a wheelchair to a consumer, comes the responsibility of training the consumer to use their equipment to the fullest of its potential in a safe manner. Wheelchair skills are the responsibility of all therapists signing off on their prescriptions, and should not be taken for granted that end users, and carers will “work it out”. There are many risks involved in this, including injury to the user or carer, as well as the prescription possibly may be considered a failure if it’s too difficult to be used functionally. Depending on where your expertise and experience lies, this may be an area that is daunting for you. There is also the consideration of limited access to funding to be able to complete comprehensive training in the environments available to you. Like many concepts under the NDIS and other funding bodies, training the support persons to complete the intensity of your training program also becomes a requirement.
So where do you start if this a daunting or new concept for you?
The Wheelchair Skills Program (WSP) website (https://wheelchairskillsprogram.ca/en/) is one of many excellent resources available to increase your access to assessment tools and increase your confidence in directing the learning pathway of new users developing wheelchair skills. The comprehensive WSP Manual is available to walk you through the standardised assessments and training component of the program. Contact Linds if you’re looking for a spotters strap to add to your therapy toolbox.