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CR-ATPAP-22: Custom AT: Solving Unique Access Challenges

Where do you turn when the perfect AT solution for your client is not commercially available? This session emphasizes the Rehab Engineering aspect of AT solution design and implementation. We will explore several case studies where custom designed AT was needed in order to solve the physical access challenge. We will consider unique access challenges in a student population and the custom AT solutions for therapy, academics and recreation that increased their participation. We will explore the needs assessment, iterative design process and interdisciplinary collaboration required for successful outcomes. We will also consider hybrid solutions where some customization is combined with readily available AT to reach the optimal end goal. Along with students and staff, we will discuss the value and impact of academic-industry partnerships.

Learning Objectives
First Learning Objective: Describe the roles of 3 different contributing voices to the case study projects that were necessary for successful outcomes.
Second Learning Objective: Identify 3 positive participation outcomes for the students resulting from the custom AT case studies presented.
Third Learning Objective: Describe 2 benefits of building and utilizing academic-industry partnerships with regard to the custom AT design process.

AT for Physical Access and Participation

Target Audience
Accessibility Professional; AT Specialists; Caregivers; Consumers/Individuals with Disabilities; Consultants/Trainers; Disability Services; Educators; Family Members; Occupational Therapists; Physical Therapists; Rehab Therapists; Speech-Language Pathologists; Special Education Educators; Vocational Rehabilitation

Experience Level

Content Area
Professional Area

ATIA 2020 Conference Recording
This course was given at the ATIA 2020 Conference on Thursday, January 30, 2020 9:20 AM - 10:50 AM

Continuing Education Credits
For Satisfactory Completion and Continuing Education information, please visit: ATIA Online Education CEUs
This course is offered for the following CE Provider Credits:
For: 0.15 CEU Units.


Meaghan Walls
Meaghan Walls is the President and CEO of Assistology, LLC, in Omaha, Nebraska which provides Assistive Technology (AT), Rehab Engineering and Universal Design consultation services to help individuals reach their goals and help businesses increase their ability to create inclusive spaces, services, products and practices.
Meaghan is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in the Department of Gerontology where she developed and taught an interdisciplinary course on Rehabilitative Design. She is a two time co-presenter at AIA regional conferences speaking on Considering the Human Experience in Design. Additionally, she has frequently been requested to provide guest lectures on Assistive Technology and Inclusive Product Design at a variety of college programs, including UNMC (University of Nebraska Medical Center) Department of Physical Therapy; College of Saint Mary Department of Occupational Therapy; University of Nebraska-Lincoln Department of Mechanical Engineering. She is the Accessibility and Inclusive Design Consultant for the Omaha Chamber of Commerce CODE Coalition Diversity and Inclusion Conference.
Previously, Meaghan served as Director of Rehabilitation Services at Children’s Respite Care Center in Omaha. Her career also includes positions as a Biomedical Sales Engineer at ADInstruments in Boston, and as an Assistive Technology Specialist, Assistive Technology Regional Center Coordinator, project leader and researcher for Easter Seals Massachusetts.
Meaghan is a certified Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) who holds a MS in Bioengineering with an emphasis on Rehabilitation and Assistive Technology from the University of Illinois-Chicago under a 2 year Rehab Technology Fellowship. She earned a BS in Mathematics with a minor in Chemistry from Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Indiana.
As part of my role as a business owner, my financial and non-financial relationships are that I am a contract consultant, private pay service provider, an Ablenet vendor representative and industry partner with Metro Community College in Omaha, NE.
Relevant Financial Relationship: Yes
As a consultant my relevant financial disclosures are related to consultant fees for projects, payment for adjunct teaching and institutional relationships that result in consultant fees. I have retained IP rights for all projects to date. Institutional relationships resulting in financial gain include: Metro Community College, United Cerebral Palsy of NE, The Madonna School, University of NE Medical Center/MMI, Alley Poyner Macchietto Architecture, University of NE - Omaha, Koley Jessen, Educational Service Unit 3, Mosaic, Vodec and King Science Technology Magnet.
Relevant Non-Financial Relationship: Yes
I sit on the Mayor's Commission for Citizens with Disabilities; am part of the planning committee for the Dementia Care Conference; am Board President for Angel Guardians, Inc.; am an Educational partner with Home Instead; am Co-founder of Imaging Inclusion, Inc.; actively blog and have personal relationships with individuals impacted by disability.