Honoring Improvements in Wheelchair Service Provision

This story originally appeard on Management Sciences for Health's website.

The USAID-funded Leadership, Management, and Governance (LMG) Project, led by MSH, was honored this month at the 2016 International Society for Performance Improvement Awards of Excellence Ceremony during ISPI's Annual Conference. The LMG Project’s partners, along with experts in wheelchair service provision and credentialing, were acknowledged for "Outstanding Human Performance Intervention" in recognition of measuring the skills and knowledge of wheelchair service providers who work in under-resourced countries.

A young girl receives a wheelchair as part of the LMG Project's WHO Wheelchair Service Training Package - Intermediate Level training in Vientiane, Laos, March 14-25, 2016. (Photo: Efrat Shenhod-Mulihi)

A young girl receives a wheelchair as part of the LMG Project's WHO Wheelchair Service Training Package - Intermediate Level training in Vientiane, Laos, March 14-25, 2016. (Photo: Efrat Shenhod-Mulihi)

The International Society for Performance Improvement and its members use evidence-based performance improvement research and practices to effect sustainable, measurable results, and add value to stakeholders in the private, public, and social sectors. Founded in 1962, society is the leading international association dedicated to improving productivity and competence in the workplace. The International Society for Performance Improvement represents performance improvement professionals throughout the United States, Canada, and 44 other countries. The International Society for Performance Awards of Excellence program is designed to showcase the people, products, innovations, and organizations that represent excellence in the field of Human Performance Technology.

Beginning in May 2013, the Leadership, Management & Governance Project collaborated with The Institute for Performance Improvement, a U.S.-based organization with expertise in instructional design, to facilitate the development of the assessment tool to measure the performance of wheelchair service providers, particularly in low and middle-income countries. The project and the institute worked with experts in wheelchair service provision to develop a multiple-choice assessment for basic-level wheelchair providers, regardless of the particular curriculum or methodology they had been trained on. The assessment contributes to global efforts to professionalize wheelchair service provision. It can be used to determine the readiness of wheelchair providers to participate in an intermediate-level training, and as a way for donors, clients, organizations, and other stakeholders to ensure the service providers they support or use are capable of providing basic-level service at a minimum standard of quality in alignment with global wheelchair guidelines.

The assessment is hosted online by the International Society of Wheelchair Providers, which is based at the University of Pittsburgh. It has been translated into Spanish, Albanian, French, Portuguese, Urdu, Lao, Hindi, Burmese, Arabic, Romanian, Vietnamese, simplified Mandarin, Mongolian, and Russian. Final reviews are currently underway for some of these languages, but all will be available soon through the society.

The process of developing the knowledge and skills assessment for basic level wheelchair service provision was recently published in the journal Disability and Rehabilitation: Assistive Technology in the article, "Development of a contextually appropriate, reliable and valid basic Wheelchair Service Provision Test."