Photo: Adapting Driving class with Pitt SHRS students
Updated: October 8, 2020
The National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) and the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (SHRS) today announced an agreement for the school’s Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology (RST) to oversee and administer the education and training programs offered by NMEDA.
“We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership with Pitt RST,” stated NMEDA president Christian Quandt of Advanced Wheels in East Granby, CT. “The RST Department at Pitt is recognized globally for their expertise and innovation in all kinds of mobility applications. Having them oversee NMEDA’s education and training is truly a boon to our program.”
NMEDA is a non-profit trade association that administers the nationally recognized Quality Assurance Program accreditation for auto mobility dealerships as well as the NMEDA Certified Technician certification for individuals who install auto adaptive equipment.
The agreement calls for Pitt’s Amy Lane, occupational therapist and certified driver rehabilitation specialist, who manages and operates SHRS’ Adaptive Driving Program, to serve as NMEDA’s director of Education & Training, with at least 50% of her time devoted exclusively to the association. Resources from Pitt RST’s Continuing Education (RSTCE) team will also be made available to NMEDA to assist with their Learning Management System (LMS) implementation and ongoing online education offerings.
Photo: Amy Lane. OTR/L, CDRS
“We are thrilled to be supporting NMEDA with their education and training as part of our long term and growing relationship,” says Dr. Jonathan Pearlman, associate professor and chair, RST. “This opportunity helps highlight RST’s ability and enthusiasm to support educational excellence with our partners in the assistive technology field. It also adds to our ongoing experience in supporting training in the Veterans Administration, hosting the International Seating Symposium, and leading other world-class training activities.”
“The members of NMEDA are dedicated to helping folks with disabilities regain their independence,” said Danny Langfield, CEO of NMEDA. “I can’t think of a more complementary partner for that mission than the remarkably talented people associated with Pitt RST. This is how associations and industries get better – by collaborating with the best minds available to achieve much more than we could accomplish on our own.”
The agreement marks the latest step in the cooperation between the two entities, which also included a special guest appearance by Dr. Rory Cooper, distinguished professor, RST, and founder and director of the renowned Human Engineering Resources Laboratories (HERL), at the 2020 NMEDA Annual Conference as a panelist on the Rolling Disrupters panel discussion.
Photo: Dr. Cooper (center) at the 2020 NMEDA Annual Conference & Expo.
“The growing partnership with NMEDA is powerful and builds upon our mutual interest in creating opportunities for people with disabilities by collaborating with best in class organizations,” explains Cooper. “Mobility and transportation are essential to participation in American society. Through this partnership, people with disabilities will come closer to achieving this goal.”
Langfield was also recently tapped to serve on the advisory committee for Pitt’s newly established University Transportation Center, made possible by a $1 million grant the university was awarded to Cooper by the U.S. Department of Transportation in July.