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MON 23 OCT // 8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Primary Content Focus: Spinal Cord Injury

Secondary Content Focus: Technology (e.g. robotics, assistive technology, mHealth)

Tertiary Content Focus: Cross-Cutting

Wheelchair skills are important for community access and quality of life, however many users report being unable to traverse uneven terrain, transfer between surfaces, or more advanced skills like negotiating curbs. In this hands-on workshop, you will learn how to effectively use the Wheelchair Skills Training Program (WSTP) to teach wheelchair users how to complete indoor, community and advanced wheelchair skills. We will also present an outcome measure that can be used to evaluate your training in a clinical setting. The session will include hands-on practice of completing, spotting and providing feedback on wheelchair skills.


  1. Describe how to access free assessment and training resources from the Wheelchair Skills Program website
  2. Describe 5 motor-skills learning principles
  3. Demonstrate safe spotting techniques
  4. Demonstrate and/or describe proper basic-, community- and advanced-level wheelchair skills
  5. Describe how to implement the Wheelchair Skills Program in one’s own clinical setting


Lynn Worobey, PhD, DPT, ATP
University of Pittsburgh, Department Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

R. Lee Kirby, MD, FRCPC
Dalhousie University


Lynn Worobey, PhD, DPT, ATP is a research assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and a Research Scientist at the Human Engineering Research Laboratories. She received her doctorate in bioengineering from the University of Pittsburgh. She has extensive experience in biomechanics and is a certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP). In order to achieve a more direct interaction with patients she went on to complete a clinical doctorate in physical therapy. Dr. Worobey’s interests focus on enhancing independence and participation of individuals who use assistive technology as well as minimizing secondary injury in both a research and clinical setting. She has led studies involving quantitative ultrasound, upper limb mechanics, training in functional mobility, wheelchair quality, and the ergonomics of transfers and wheelchair propulsion.


Dr. R. Lee Kirby received his MD degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. His specialty training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation was carried out at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington, USA, at Dalhousie University and at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in England. He is a Professor in the Division of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation in the Department of Medicine at Dalhousie University with a cross-appointment in Community Health and Epidemiology. He is based at the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre Site of the Nova Scotia Health Authority. His primary research interest is the safety and performance of wheelchairs. He has held research grants from a number of national and international funding bodies. He has published 146 papers in peer-reviewed journals and 319 abstracts or proceedings of presentations to national or international meetings. He heads the team that developed the Wheelchair Skills Program (, a low-tech, high-impact training program that is relevant for both more- and less-resourced settings.

ACRM Annual ConferenceProgress in Rehabilitation Research (PIRR#2017)

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