Mobility Device Provision & Distribution Conference

2021 International Conference for Mobility Device Provision and Distribution was a Huge Success!

Over 50 people, representing the mobility device industry, attended 2021’s inaugural conference in Columbia, MO. The conference was designed to build partnerships among agencies in order to serve more people in need of mobility.

Presenters offered insights and suggestions to help promote the theme of communicating, cooperating and collaborating to serve more people. Several people traveled from abroad to participate and offer their insights including individuals or teams from Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ghana, Ecuador, Kenya and South Sudan.

The keynote was delivered by Dr. Jon Pearlman, chair and associate professor with the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology and also one of the founders of the International Society of Wheelchair Professionals (ISWP).

During his remarks, Pearlman stated that scaling is one of the best ways to fill the gap between those in need of a wheelchair and the number of devices available to them. A key component to scaling, Pearlman says, is to concentrate on obtaining, maintaining and servicing wheelchairs in the country where mobility is needed and doing it at the most economical and affordable price.

The initial conference of mobility device providers was the brainchild of Mel West, one of the founders of Mobility Worldwide. The Rev. West issued a challenge to the membership of Mobility Worldwide during its 25th anniversary to help more people by working together to form a coalition within the industry. With that, he donated the seed money to get the conference off the ground.

West delivered the welcome remarks during the opening reception held at the Courtyard by Marriott Convention Center in Columbia, MO. “We can do more if we work together and share our knowledge and resources. In doing so, we should fix on a goal that can’t be accomplished in our lifetimes. If we do that, we would truly be setting a goal worthwhile of our efforts”, he said.

Scott Walters, Executive Director of Mobility Worldwide International, is now in the process of forming a steering committee among mobility device providers. The group will work on a charter for the partnership, help organize the second annual conference and decide upon a specific task or program in which two or more organizations can partner and report key findings during the next conference.

The next conference date and location has not been set as of yet, but will most likely take place in a major metro area where attendees have easier access. The timing will be in the fall/autumn season of 2022. Check back here for updates and the effort develops.

Scroll to Top