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Where to start: Seating is not sitting still Seating has almost always been thought of as “sitting still.” This could not be more wrong. Sitting still does not allow for any activity, any body use, nor any cognitive attention. If the body is sitting still, then that’s all it can do, nothing else. Consequently, using seating systems (which were developed to manage the child’s body) cannot possibly support the child’s need to access an AAC device. Seating systems are frequently developed in a single isolated situation, specifically with the focus to externally manage the body. This includes keeping the body …

KAREN KAGAS, OTR/L, is a nationally certified and state licensed Occupational Therapist, Seating and Positioning Specialist, Assistive Technology Specialist, Clinical Educator and Consultant. She can be contacted at 6925 Upper Road, Shamokin, PA 17872; E-mail: kmkangas@ptd.net The Switch has become the activity, rather than a support to an activity Switch selection has long been a process in the field of assistive technology as students are being assessed for their access and use of a computer and/or an augmentative communication device and/or a powered wheelchair. When switches first became available, they were all mechanical switches. Switch lists were made as to …

Karen Kangas has worked as an OT since 1973 in many and varied settings, including the school system, group homes, early intervention programs, integrated day care, home health, rehabilitation centers, residential facilities and long-term care facilities. In 1985, she was invited to develop programs to support inclusion and increased independence through the use of seating and access with assistive technology through the PA Board of Education, Bureau of Special Education and then, subsequently, in 1990, at Pennsylvania State University’s University Hospital Rehabilitation Center. She has been actively teaching since 1985 on Seating and Positioning; Alternative Access and Powered Mobility; Assessment …