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State Spinal Cord Injury Service

Spinal Seating Modules

Spinal seating professional development program

The ACI State Spinal Cord Injury Service, Spinal Seating Professional Development Program aims to assist NSW health professionals who are working with clients with an acquired a spinal cord injury or similar neurological condition to gain knowledge and skill in the practice of seating and wheeled mobility prescription.

The Spinal Seating Education Modules provide clinicians a readily available access to acquire clinical knowledge in seating assessment and intervention. It was first launched on 2008 and was updated in 2016. The ACI State Spinal Cord Injury service offers, through its affiliated Seating Service, skill development workshops to eligible NSW clinicians to gain hands-on experience. Completing the resource modules are a prerequisite of attending these workshops. It is strongly recommended that health professionals participate in hands-on workshops lead by clinical experts as an adjunct to theory based learning.

Other components of the program include developing a broader network of health professionals and rehabilitation engineers in this clinical area, improving competency, developing specialist education sessions and standard of practice within the network’s specialist seating and wheeled mobility services in NSW.

The Spinal Seating Education Modules

The Spinal Seating Education Modules provides a structured, client focused, and goal orientated approach to clinical practice. There is a strong focus on the client at the centre of the systematic assessment and prescription process, clinical reasoning and teamwork.

Wheelchair and seating systems are highly engineered with rapidly changing technical advances and features. Rather than providing detailed product information, this resource focused on developing the knowledge required for effective clinical reasoning in the selection of features or specifications of equipment that meet the client’s individualised seating goals. For detailed product knowledge, the equipment suppliers and product websites would be most informative.

The education modules of the SSPDP aim to:

  • Provide accessible clinical knowledge for seating and wheeled mobility assessment and intervention to clinicians.
  • Improve clinicians’ self-awareness of  their own competency in the area of seating and wheeled mobility
  • Improve clinical reasoning and documentation of client needs and outcomes
  • Prepare workshop participates an maximise hands on learning opportunities

The Spinal Seating Education Modules features:

  • 10 learning modules
  • Downloads of sample assessment forms and prompt sheets.
  • 5 teaching videos
  • Downloads of handy tips, selected useful resource and practical ideas
  • Self-assessment quizzes or case studies with answers


We would like to acknowledge the following organisations and individuals for contributing their time and expertise to the development and review of this resource:

Revised Content (2017)


  • Charisse Turnbull
  • Dr Bill Fisher
  • Dr Iain Brown
  • Contributors and Reviewers:

  • Hannah Halloran
  • Andrew Congdon
  • Amy Hungerford
  • Brad Mason
  • Jenni Barker
  • Elizabeth Dallaway
  • Peter McLeod
  • Frances Monypenny

We would also like to thank our national and international colleagues for their invaluable comments and advice about the website.

Original Content (2008)


  • Charisse Turnbull
  • Contributors and Reviewers:

  • Pamela Reeves
  • Dr Bill Fisher
  • Adrian Byak
  • David Andrews
  • Bruce Czerniec
  • Emma Friesen
  • Spinal Outreach Service
  • State Spinal Cord Injury Service Seating Working Party
  • University of New South Wales, Learning and Teaching Unit
  • Enable NSW
  • The Queensland Spinal Cord Injury Service
  • Assistive Technology Suppliers Australasia (ATSA)

Commercial Endorsement

Within the study modules on this site commercial product names are used. This does not imply any endorsement, support for the products or commercial gain by the ACI, the State Spinal Cord Injury Service, NSW Ministry of Health or the State of New South Wales.