UWM students experience the wheelchairs their future clients will use

On Wednesday, April 21, UWM health sciences students will sit in and drive a plethora of wheelchairs and other assistive power mobility devices. This annual event gives the students hands-on/sits-on experience with the types of devices they will prescribe to their patients and clients in their future careers. Many of these students have never used such devices and will gain a higher level of empathy and skills through this lab experience.

Media are invited to the 1 p.m. event, called Mobility Technology Day, where they will be able to talk with the students and instructors, and will be able to capture images of the students trying out the devices.

Students are often surprised at what they learn. Some devices are trickier than they thought, others are easier. Either way, the experience provides valuable insight.

“It’s one thing to learn in a textbook, but to actually see, feel and work with the technology, it makes me more confident to go into this practice,” one occupational therapy student said at a previous event.

To get a sense of what images can be captured and what the event is all about, check out this story.

The event will be held at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 21, in room 135 of Enderis Hall, 2400 East Hartford Avenue. Weather permitting, students might venture outside with the wheelchairs.

Among the College of Health Sciences instructors available to provide more information will be Michelle Silverman, clinical assistant professor, and Roger O. Smith, professor and director of the Rehabilitation Research Design & Disability R2D2 Center.