ISS: On a mission to educate

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Friday, January 24, 2020

VANCOUVER – The organizers of the International Seating Symposium say they are trying to make it as easy as possible to attend the March 3-6 event at the Westin Bayshore here.

For one thing, they’ve kept the registration fee the same this year at $569 before and $619 after Jan. 17.

“We just really want people to come,” said Maureen Story, ISS conference chair and a physical therapist on the Positioning and Mobility Team at Sunny Hill Health Centre for Children in Vancouver. “We don’t really want to make money; we just want to educate people.”

ISS returns to Vancouver this year, after being hosted in Pittsburgh last year. The event swaps back and forth between Canada and the U.S. each year

Organizers also plan to again offer partial scholarships to more than a dozen attendees.

“They just have to pay $100 toward the registration fee,” Story says.

'Across the Lifespan'

The theme for this year’s ISS is “Across the Lifespan,” a nod to an education program that has “something for everyone,” Story says— everything from the basics of seating and mobility to funding issues to 24-hour posture care.

On the latter, she said, “They’ve done a lot of bed positioning in Great Britain, and I think we’re behind in Canada and the U.S. We focus on daytime positioning and we let bedtime positioning slip a little bit. It’s just as important. They’re in their beds eight to 10 hours a night.”

Point of view

ISS will also feature keynote sessions by Geoff Fernie of the University of Toronto and the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute on “Technology to Overcome the Big Problems of Aging”; and by Isabel Jordan, the mother of a child with a disability, on “Whose Voice? When What Matters to Patients and Families Drives Care.”

“Whose voice are we listening to?” Story said. “It needs to be more than the clinician’s or researcher’s point of view.”

'Full house'

In early January, it was too early to talk attendee and exhibitor numbers, but Story expects the same robust crowd as two years ago.

“We’ll have a full house again,” she said.