About The Tool Kit

Purpose of the Seating and Mobility Academic Resource Toolkit (‘SMART’)

The phrase “seating and mobility” is used to refer to the provision of wheelchairs for users with minimal postural support needs, as well as provision of wheeled mobility devices for people with intermediate and advanced postural support needs. (WHO Guidelines, 2008)

The purpose of SMART is to support the provision of wheelchair education into academic rehabilitation programs (e.g., occupational therapy, physical therapy and prosthetics and orthotics) in various contexts (e.g., high-resourced, low-resourced) through:

  • a personalized needs assessment.
  • access to a repository of evidence-based, open-source resources and tools.
  • access to a repository of resources that have been shared by our academic training partners that can be used, adapted or reviewed to help develop a wheelchair-specific course or integrate wheelchair content across several courses within a curriculum.
  • information regarding facilitators and barriers to the integration of wheelchair content in university curricula.
  • sample illustrative university case studies representing strategies to overcome a variety of barriers to integrating wheelchair content into curricula.

We welcome additional resources. To add your resources to the repository, please contact Krithika Kandavel at krithikak@pitt.edu

Intended Users

SMART is intended for use by academic rehabilitation programs (for example, occupational therapy, physical therapy and prosthetics & orthotics). It can be used by institutions from a diverse range of contexts:

  • Low-, middle- and high-resourced settings
  • Different academic levels, from undergraduate to doctoral
  • Different stages of integration, from advocating for inclusion of content to enhancing existing content within a program
  • Online or in-person training approaches
  • Dedicated seating and mobility modules or courses
  • Content integrated into existing modules or courses within a curriculum
  • Basic or intermediate level postural needs (according to the World Health Organization definitions)

Development Process

A SMART Taskforce of ISWP Integration Sub-Committee members developed SMART. The framework and content for the toolkit were derived from three sources of data, including a global survey of 72 educational institutions (Fung et al., 2017), in-depth semi-structured interviews with 14 institutions and presentations and contributions by 16 academic training partners. After data analysis and content development, an iterative process was used to develop the online platform, with feedback from the ISWP Training Working Group and the Academic Training Partners.

Future developments

SMART will be a “living document”, and we will continue to update content as the evidence grows and changes and as new or updated resources become available. ISWP will maintain oversight of the materials, their organization and the overall functionality of the toolkit.

We will be seeking feedback and suggestions from current and prospective users during upcoming conference presentations. We welcome your feedback on our SMART, please email Krithika Kandavel at krithikak@pitt.edu! We welcome additional resources, please contact Krithika Kandavel at krithikak@pitt.edu

Benefits of contributing to SMART

The following are some of the benefits of sharing your resources in SMART.

  • Contributors’ will have the opportunity to have their short bio and picture listed in the website here: http://smart.wheelchairnetwork.org/about/integration-subcommittee/
  • Contributors’ university or organisation’s logo will be added to the footer in the homepage: http://smart.wheelchairnetwork.org
  • Contributors’ will have the opportunity to have their university or organisation’s logo and/or snapshot of their resources added to SMART’s presentation at conferences and events.
  • Contributors will be awarded with a certificate of appreciation from ISWP.
  • Contributors will be automatically added to the ISWP Academic Training Partners group; if desired, they can connect with other partners and attend meetings to learn from each other.
  • Contributors can apply for the ISWP university mentoring program where they will be paired with other university for one-to-one mentorship.
  • Contributors’ students/colleagues can take the ISWP Wheelchair Service Provision Knowledge Test for free and receive a certificate if they score 70% and above. Link: http://wheelchairnetwork.org/courses/iswp-basic-knowledge-test/
  • Together, we will be building a unique open-access repository from different countries and programs for better wheelchair service trainings and education.


World Health Organization, 2008, Guidelines on the provision of manual wheelchairs in less resourced settings, World Health Organization, Geneva.

Fung KH, Rushton PW, Gartz R, Goldberg M, Toro ML, Seymour N, Pearlman J (2017). Wheelchair service provision education in academia. AJOD; 6(0), a340.