Wheelchair and Seating Clinic

The Wheelchair and Seating Clinic at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center (SCVMC) offers a variety of seating and mobility services, including fitting for specialty wheelchairs and/or complex seating systems.  The clinic provides services for inpatients and outpatients of all ages and diagnoses, including spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, stroke, multiple sclerosis, ALS, muscular dystrophy, amputation, cerebral palsy, post-polio syndrome, spina bifida, along with other neuromuscular, orthopedic and pulmonary diagnoses.  The Wheelchair Clinic therapists are available to assist people to make proper decisions about seating and mobility devices to maximize functional independence, mobility, posture and breathing of each individual as well as serves to protect skin integrity.

The occupational therapists at the Santa Clara Valley Medical Center Wheelchair Clinic are specifically trained in wheelchair seating and mobility.  Each therapist is Assistive Technology Professional (ATP) certified, demonstrating competence in analyzing the needs of individuals with disabilities, assisting in the selection of appropriate assistive technology for the individual’s needs, and providing training in the use of the selected device.  SCVMC clinic therapists have several years of direct consumer related services in assistive technology and have served over 500 individuals annually.

An occupational therapist completes a comprehensive evaluation including a history of the individual’s environment, assessment of current equipment, current diagnosis and prognosis, range, strength and functional assessment of the individual’s seating and mobility needs.  The SCVMC Wheelchair Clinic therapists are available to provide education and recommendations to inpatients that are newly injured, in addition to working with seasoned wheelchair users on what is the most appropriate replacement mobility and seating system.  To meet each individual’s unique needs, the occupational therapists work with pre-selected Durable Medical Equipment (DME) suppliers to complete the mobility device and custom seating assessment. 

At SCVMC Wheelchair and Seating Clinic, an Occupational Therapists performs one or more of the following evaluations:

Posture Evaluation: to determine flexibility of postural impairments.  The wheelchair clinic occupational therapist will recommend appropriate seating system options and work with the individual to ensure functional independence while addressing balance & promote good posture, breathing, digestion and prevention of skin breakdown.  Measurements of the individual are also taken to ensure the wheelchair and seating system fit the individual.

Wheelchair Evaluation: to determine the most efficient & functional means of mobility.  A functional evaluation is performed to identify equipment that will allow each person the highest level of independence with transfers, pressure relief, and mobility during their daily activities.  The wheelchair clinic has access to a large variety of manual and power wheelchairs from various manufacturers available for trial.

Pressure Mapping Evaluation: to determine the most appropriate cushion and backrest in the seating system to maximize pressure distribution.  This mapping system is an education and assessment tool used to identify the areas of highest risk for skin breakdown and aids in the selection of a cushion and seating system to effectively redistribute pressures for each patient.

Wheelchair Training: to optimize the individual’s function & independence in multiple environments. The wheelchair clinic occupational therapists have access to different power and manual wheelchairs to train the individual on mobility indoors and outdoors, including managing through doors and small environmental barriers, as well as managing over different terrains such as curb cuts, gravel, sloped sidewalks, grass, etc.

To schedule an appointment, call the Outpatient Therapy Referral Center at (408) 885-7106 between 7:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.

*Accept all referrals from Internal and External Providers 
*Insurance Benefits and authorizations are verified prior to scheduling appointments