RESNA > Certification > Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS) > SMS Knowledge Areas

2024 Seating and Mobility Knowledge Topics

In conducting the 2023 SMS Job Analysis Study, the panel of subject matter experts identified the below knowledges relevant to the provision of assistive techology services:

2024 Seating and Mobility Knowledge Topics

A. Human Anatomy

  1. Impact of seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility on:
    1. Circulatory system
    2. Digestive system
    3. Endocrine system
    4. Integumentary system
    5. Lymphatic system
    6. Muscular system
    7. Nervous system
    8. Respiratory system
    9. Sensory system
    10. Skeletal system
    11. Urogenital system

B. Human Development through the Lifecycle

  1. Apply the following as they relate to seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility:
    1. Typical and atypical development as it relates to seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility (e.g., adaptive, cognitive, communication, emotional, language, motor, sensory, social)
    2. Developmental stages as it relates to seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility (e.g., neonatal, infancy, early childhood, school age, adolescence, adulthood, senior adults)
    3. Process of aging and degeneration as it relates to seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility (e.g., aging with a disability)

C. Psychology and Sociology

  1. Interrelationship between seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility and the following:
    1. Social, emotional, and behavioral development
    2. Cognitive development (e.g., attention span, comprehension, literacy, memory, perception, processing, learning)
    3. Client interpersonal relationships
    4. Mental health (e.g., anxiety, depression)
    5. Cultural awareness
    6. Disability culture
    7. Disability etiquette
    8. Environmental factors

D. Fundamental Functional Abilities, Capabilities and Limitations (Including Etiologies and Pathologies)

  1. Interaction and impact of seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility on: 
    1. Sensory and perception (e.g., auditory, body awareness, neurosensory, proprioception, sensory processing, spatial relations, tactile, visual)
    2.  Oral motor function (e.g., breath control, swallowing, feeding)
    3. Biomechanics of posture, movement, and function
    4. Physical (e.g., endurance, range of motion, strength)
    5. Skin and related structures (e.g., intrinsic and extrinsic factors)
    6. Neurological (e.g., pain, sensation, coordination, balance, reflex activity, muscle tone)
    7.  Communication (e.g., receptive/expressive language, verbal/non-verbal, written)
      Cognition and learning (e.g., attention, executive function, literacy, organization, memory, safety awareness)
    8.  Behavioral/Emotional (e.g., emotional vulnerability, self-control, self-management, self-stimulatory behavior)
    9. Environmental interactions and access (e.g., community, home, school, social, transportation, workplace)
    10. Etiology, pathology, and characteristics of different diagnoses (e.g., congenital, degenerative, developmental, effects of co-morbidities, progressive, infectious disease)

E. Interventional Services

  1. Coordination of care between seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility interventions and the following services: 
    1. Psychological, behavioral, and neuropsychological
    2. Medical (e.g., nursing and palliative care, nutrition therapy, pharmaceutical, respiratory, surgical)
    3. Therapeutic (e.g., occupational, physical, recreational, and speech therapy)
    4. Educational and school-based related services
    5. Vocational rehabilitation (e.g., counseling, evaluation, training)
    6. Assistive technology services (e.g., computer and mobile access, seating and mobility, robotics, orthotic and prosthetic, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), blind and low vision, environmental access)
    7. Alternative and culturally sensitive interventions (e.g., acupuncture, herbal treatments, reflexology)
    8. Social services

F. Principles of Learning and Teaching

  1. Effects of the following on the evaluation and intervention of seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility strategies: 
    1. Principles of teaching for age-appropriate groups
    2. Learning styles (e.g., aural, logical, physical, social, solitary, verbal, visual)
    3. Hierarchy of learning
    4. Motivation (e.g., intrinsic and extrinsic motivation)
    5. Abilities and challenges to learning (e.g., attention, cognitive, language, communication, physical, social, contextual, emotional,  information/sensory/cognitive overload)
    6. Accommodation versus modification (e.g., scaffolding, materials, workstations)
    7. Training strategies and methods (e.g., modeling, multi-sensory and visual supports, positive behavioral supports, prompt fading, task analysis)

G. Assessment

  1. Application the following as they relate to the seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility process:
    1. Client's current level of function across environments (e.g., community, home, school, work, transportation)
    2. Client's abilities/challenges, capacities/limitations
    3. Assessment of client tasks, activities, and participation considering environmental factors
    4. Technology/device features and benefits which match the client's needs (maximize outcomes and mitigate risk)
    5. Data collection and measurement procedures
    6. Integration of research and evidence-based practice principles
    7. Analysis/synthesis of information to determine recommendations

H. Service Delivery and Outcomes

  1. Integration of the following in the seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility service provision process:
    1. Awareness and investigation of avenues of procurement applicable to the individual client
    2. Principles of quality assurance, functional outcomes, and client satisfaction
    3. Awareness of related resources and services (e.g., manufacturers/suppliers, medical/educational/vocational, community-based, built-in accessibility features)
    4. Awareness of, and advocacy for, consumer rights and responsibilities
    5. Roles and responsibilities of clients and other stakeholders (e.g., academics, caregivers, designers, distributors, educators, engineers, fabricators, manufacturers, medical professionals, technicians, researchers, counselors)
    6. Application of outcome measures for evidence-based practice and accountability

I. Principles of Design, Development and Application

  1. Interpretation and integration of the following principles as they relate to seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility:
    1. Universal design concepts
    2. Environmental considerations and accessibility (e.g., community, home, school, workplace, social, transportation)
    3. Factors which contribute to the cost of devices
    4. Factors which contribute to usability across relevant environments
    5. Relationship of material and design to function and form
    6. Physical properties of materials (e.g., mechanics, strength, durability)
    7. Electrical properties (e.g., circuits, systems, batteries, chargers, fuses)
    8. Responsibilities, safety, limitations, and  warranty parameters
    9. Preventive maintenance and repair schedules for equipment
    10. Tools/instruments and their purpose and use in maintaining AT
    11. Ergonomics

J. Assistive Technology Devices

  1. Integration of the following with seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility:
    1. AAC (Augmentative/Alternative Communication)
    2. Accessible transportation and transportation safety

    3. Aids to Daily Living

    4. Cognitive aids

    5. Adaptive interfaces including computer access (e.g., eye gaze, adaptive mouse, adaptive keyboard, voice recognition), hardware, software, and mobile device access (e.g., cell phones, tablets)

    6. Interactive technology systems

    7. Technology access

    8. EADL (Electronic Aids to Daily Living) (e.g., TV, light, door controls, smart home)

    9. Education/learning/accessible instructional materials

    10. Environmental access, modification, utilization

    11. Orthotics/prosthetics

    12. Sensory aids

    13. Blind and low vision

    14. Deaf

    15. Adaptive devices for recreation

    16. Work site modification

    17. Credible and vetted sources of information regarding products and technical standards acquired through researching, updating, and upgrading one's own knowledge

  2. Differentiation of standard, complex/configurable, and custom interventions related to: 

    1. Mobility assistive equipment
    2. Seating and positioning

K. Environmental Integration (Person, Technology, Human-Device Interface)

  1.  Accountability for the following as they relate to seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility implementation:
    1. Identification of benefits and limitations of appropriate AT devices and client access
    2. Interrelationship and compatibility among various technologies in meeting the needs of the client
    3. Relationship between educational, medical, therapeutic, and vocational goals, and assistive technology interventions for both short and long- term involvement
    4. Impact of assistive technology on access to education, employment, and independent living

L. Professional Conduct and Standards of Practice

  1. Apply the following as they relate to seating, positioning, and wheeled mobility:
    1. Maintain current knowledge of features and functions of emerging technologies and products
    2. Maintain professional knowledge, skills, and on-going education in areas relevant to an individual's AT practice
    3.  Application of RESNA's Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice to an individual's discipline(s) and field(s)
    4.  Scope of practice and need for collaboration/referral with other stakeholders
    5. Apply a client centered approach with active engagement of relevant stakeholders