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Schneider receives RESNA Distinguished Service Award

July 11, 2011

UMTRI research professor Larry Schneider received a Distinguished Service Award from the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA) at the group's annual conference, held June 5-8 in Toronto. The award recognizes members for sustained contributions and service to RESNA and the fields of rehabilitation engineering or assistive technology.

Schneider, who is head of UMTRI's Biosciences Group, was recognized for his efforts and contributions in setting wheelchair transportation safety standards. These efforts have included more than thirty years translating basic principles of occupant crash protection into national and international industry standards for wheelchair tie-downs and occupant restraints and for wheelchairs used as seats in motor vehicles.

Schneider has made numerous presentations at RESNA and other conferences on topics related to transportation safety for people who remain seated in their wheelchairs when traveling in motor vehicles. He is the current Director of the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Wheelchair Transportation Safety (RERC WTS) that is funded by the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR), and he has served as chair of the RESNA technical standards Committee on Wheelchairs and Transportation for the past ten years.

Schneider has been involved in two state-of-the-science workshops on WTS and in the development of a soon-to-be-published RESNA position paper on Wheelchairs Used as Seats in Motor Vehicles. He has been involved in countless other efforts to support and promote WTS standards and to facilitate the development of a body of knowledge focused on wheelchair transportation safety.

"Due to his passion for equivalent protection for wheelchair-seated passengers and their right to expect safety, usability and independence, his work will forever change the way the entire wheeled mobility industry thinks about wheelchairs and transportation," according to RESNA.

Photo: Larry Schneider