Health Professions

OT professor elected to RESNA board, co-presents workshop at European Seating Symposium

Dr. Ana Allegretti

By Kate Hunger

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy Ana Allegretti, PhD, OTR, ATP, has been elected to the board of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA).

Dr. Allegretti, a long-time member of RESNA and is as an associate editor for its journal. Born and raised in Brazil, she said she will bring an international perspective to the board during her three-year term, which begins in August. One of her goals as a board member will be to increase access to the organization’s resources by clinicians around the world.

“Right now, RESNA has all these white papers and manuals and guidelines, but if you are not a member of RESNA, you have to pay to have access,” she said, adding that she would like to make sure clinicians in less developed countries are able to access best practices resources to help their patients.

In June, Dr. Allegretti co-presented a pre-symposium workshop at the European Seating Symposium, held June 14–17 in Dublin, Ireland. The symposium brought together clinicians from around the world to learn more about seating and mobility. Dr. Allegretti and co-presenters Teresa Plummer, PhD, associate professor at Belmont University, and Scott Burns, a senior occupational therapist at the Central Remedial Clinic in Dublin, gave a pre-symposium workshop titled “Moving, learning, and socializing: how to adapt a toy car for children with physical disabilities.”

Exploring their surroundings Independently affects many areas of a child’s development, including their ability to communicate and socialize, as well as visual development and hand function, Dr. Allegretti said.

“We covered the theory of how important it is to provide on-time mobility,” she said.  

During the workshop, three preschool age children given adapted ride-on cars. Dr. Allegretti, who has led several projects involving adapted ride-on cars for young children with mobility challenges as part of her research focus, shared the joyful reaction of the mother of one of the children.

“She was able to run by his side,” Dr. Allegretti said. “She was bursting into tears, saying, ‘I would never imagine I would have a day like this with him.’”

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