ISWP Survey and Interview Findings

To gain an enhanced understanding of the wheelchair service education provided globally, ISWP designed a 27-item online survey in 2015 in 72 teaching establishments in 21 countries. Besides, in 2016 and 2017, ISWP developed a survey to have an in-depth understanding of education regarding the wheelchair service provision process provided in Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Prosthetics and Orthotics university programs located in low-, middle-, and high-resourced settings.

From the 72 teaching establishments surveyed 79% include wheelchair content following WHO WSTP modules, self-developed training methods and material, among other resources.

Unfortunately, the majority of institutions that teach wheelchair content using their own material, teach for less than half the WHO recommended time (40 hours).

ISWP developed a semi-structured qualitative interviews with a purposive sampling strategy to have a geographically dispersed information from universities located in low, medium, and high resource settings in which wheelchair content is provided. According to the interviews from the participating sites with OT, PT and P&O programs, it is possible to say that most sites cover all 8 Wheelchair Service Provision Process Steps (Referral, Assessment, Prescription, Product Preparation, Funding, Fitting, User Training, Follow Up and Maintenance) from WHO and also include supplementary materials like the  Wheelchair Skills Program.

All the institutions use lectures and practical activities including wheelchair service to actual clients, lab workshops, boot camps, among others. Read more in Resources  to see some lectures, practical activities, case studies, evaluations, and more.

Barriers and Facilitators that institutions face are not only related to their resource setting, but also to different situations like lack of space and lack of time in curriculum. Read more in BarriersFacilitators and Solutions to know more about what other institutions have shared with ISWP.

For more information, please refer to the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists 2018 poster

Academic Training Partners

The purpose of the academic training partners was to include and enhance wheelchair content in educational programs while using globally available resources as appropriate.  The integration of wheelchair content in pilot sites was based on the interest and readiness to integrate new content, methodology and/or ISWP tests. The instructors from these institutions held joint meetings monthly since August 2016 with the purpose to develop the ‘Wheelchair Education Integration Toolkit ’.

ISWP facilitated meeting in order to share experiences, support programs by providing tests and materials and facilitating content sharing.

Participating pilot sites shared presentations, online modules, course syllabi, case study activities, lab activities, assessments and more resources to support other educators in the development of their course. To see the resources shared from academic training partners and other educational institutions, click here.

Case Studies

University of Montreal

Wheelchair Education Integration Toolkit

Considering the need the learnings and observations, ISWP has noticed that the development of a Wheelchair Education Integration Toolkit can support educators around the world to have open access to resources to develop, modify and integrate wheelchair content in their courses.

The educators ISWP has been in touch have mentioned the importance to have ISWP support for the access to online materials, we encourage you to get involved and check our resources in detail.