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Rehab Technology Center

Technology can enhance your life and help you to overcome physical and cognitive limitations. The creative and innovative minds at the Rehab Technology Center at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital offer a variety of specialty services, from devices to help you articulate your thoughts, to customized wheelchair seating to ensure your comfort – and far beyond.

Specially trained technicians and therapists work with you, your family and other caregivers to evaluate whether a certain technology is right for your rehabilitation. We’ll guide you in trial situations on demonstration equipment so you can get a feel for what devices and equipment best fit your unique needs.

Your Rehab Technology Center Team may include a number of therapists, specialists and technicians, depending on your circumstances:

• Assistive technology specialist
• Occupational therapists
• Physical therapists
• Rehabilitation engineer
• Seating technician
• Speech-language pathologists
• Upholstery technician




Rehab Technology Center services are designed to enhance your life and allow for greater independence.

Augmentative Communication

If your ability to communicate is limited, your speech-language pathologist and occupational therapist will work with our bioengineers to create what’s called an augmentative communication device. This is a system (other than writing) that enables you to make your thoughts and needs known. Examples range from low-tech, custom-made picture boards to high-tech, computer-based systems. Speech Generated Devices (SGDs) are one type of specialty device to aid in Augmentative Communication. (Find more information below about SGDs)

Computer Access

It’s important to stay connected. Our tech experts will adapt, customize and set up your computer equipment so you can do just that. Special evaluations and training ensure you get the most out of your tools if you need help overcoming physical and cognitive impairments, like memory loss or limited fine motor control. We can coordinate the purchase of your equipment and help with financial considerations, such as insurance authorization and alternate funding.

Custom Safety Beds

Wandering at night and falls are among the special concerns for children and adults with autism, brain injuries or agitated behaviors and developmental delays. A custom safety bed offers a restraint-free, secure area for sleep or play. It’s a padded and upholstered enclosure around a mattress that lies on the floor. Any of the four padded walls can be opened, making it easier for you to change the sheets or care for your loved one. Each bed is custom made to your specifications and is designed to prevent injuries, such as an arm or leg being caught between the wall and mattress.

Electronic Aids to Daily Living

If you have physical or cognitive limitations, our Rehab Technology Center technicians can identify devices (called electronic aids to daily living) to enhance your independence at home, school or work. These include emergency call devices, door opening systems, switch-operated phones, remote-control lights or fans and remote-control audio systems. Devices can be operated by infrared signals, radio frequency, WiFi or voice control. Members of our team will assist you with everything from the initial evaluation to final setup and training.

Mobile Seating Services

Can’t come to us? We can come to you. Our OrthoSEAT mobile unit is available 3 days a week to help patients who can’t travel for services or who need special on-site assistance in their home or school setting. We serve Western Michigan locations within a 1.5 hour radius of downtown Grand Rapids. The mobile team includes a therapist and technician to offer services like evaluations, seating fabrication and construction, final fitting, modifications, education and more.

Speech Generated Devices (SGDs)

A Speech Generated Device (SGD) is a type of assistive technology device that provides an alternative way for people to make their thoughts and needs known, other than writing. SGDs range from custom-made picture boards to computer-based systems.

Speech-language pathologists and occupational therapists work together with you, your family and school staff to find the SGD that best meets your needs.

Patients who benefit from SGDs typically have limited ability to communicate or interact. We serve patients of all ages and conditions, including those with:

• Brain injury
• Stroke
• Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
• Multiple sclerosis (MS)
• Anoxia
• Cerebral palsy
• Down syndrome

OrthoSEAT – Custom Wheelchair Seating

Your wheelchair needs to be a great fit. OrthoSEAT services may be beneficial if you need help maintaining a good position in your chair, you’re prone to developing skin pressure problems or you have any other circumstances impacting your health and comfort. We may use a variety of wheelchair seating services to find the best solution for you:

• Computerized pressure mapping
• Custom equipment and seating fabrication
• Equipment trials
• Follow-up visits and equipment adjustments
• Therapeutic mobility evaluation
• Wheelchair mobility training

OrthoSEAT’s custom seating components are warranted against manufacturing or material defects for three months from the day you receive your new seating system.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to a few common questions we hear from patients about the Rehab Technology Center.

What are the hours for the Rehab Technology Center?

Our office is open 8 am – noon and 1 pm – 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday. Someone is available to schedule appointments during these hours. In most cases, we’ll need a signed prescription from your physician to schedule an appointment.

Where is the Rehab Technology Center located?

We are located in Suite 1100 on the First Floor in the West Addition of Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital at 235 Wealthy St. SE in downtown Grand Rapids.

Click here for a map and parking directions

Are there suggested websites where I can find additional disability resources?

There’s a wealth of information online, including these websites:

Closing the Gap – Information on innovative applications of computer technology in special education and rehabilitation.
Job Accommodation Network – An international, toll-free consulting service where you can find information about job accommodations and more.
Michigan Department of Career Development – This government agency can provide assistance if you’re disabled and seeking employment.

Our specialists in the Rehab Technology Center are happy to answer your questions, or to direct you to the resources that will help you to get the most out of your assistive tools and technologies.

Will my insurance pay for my services at the Rehab Technology Center?

Insurance coverage for any specialty service can vary widely from patient to patient, and even from service to service. Our team will work with you to determine your available coverage and limitations, as well as securing prior authorization. We also may offer assistance identifying alternate sources of funding.

Do I need a prescription for services at the Rehab Technology Center?

Most services of the Rehab Technology Center require a physician prescription. This is necessary for insurance consideration. Some services may also require a therapist evaluation or other input from rehabilitation experts.