In a collaborative program that is unique to Walsh, second year students in the Doctor of Physical Therapy program had an opportunity to attend an Assisted Technology and Adaptive Equipment Fair on Friday, February 12. This is the ninth year for the fair, which welcomes local and state vendors of adult and pediatric assisted technology and adaptive equipment to campus.

During the fair, students are able to move between nine different stations, meet with equipment vendors and test the equipment so that they are more knowledgeable about recommendations for their future patients.

“This event is awesome. To be able to see all of the different equipment will make it so much easier for us to make recommendations for our patients,” said second-year DPT student Christian Evans. “It builds confidence and is actually providing peace of mind to know first-hand how these types of equipment can impact and benefit the lives of our patients.”

The event is also an important networking opportunity for students to meet and get to know local and state vendors they will be working with in the professional setting after graduation.

“During the fair, our students are able to ask questions and learn about the equipment first-hand, said Dr. Antonette Dotty, Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor. “Learning about assisted technology in a classroom and trying it out for themselves are two very different experiences. They will be able to make clinical recommendations that are tailored to the specific needs of their future patients.”

According to Walsh’s Dr. Robert Phillips, Assistant Professor of Physical Therapy, the event is a win-win for students and vendors alike. It also marks a collaboration not normally seen between a university and the public sector, but often found in national professional associations.

“During this past year, many state and national conferences have gone virtual because of COVID. Normally we would attend a conference that would include a vendor fair, but not this year,” said Dr. Phillips. “During a global pandemic, it’s more important than ever to provide networking and hands-on programs for students. We designed this year’s fair with COVID restrictions in mind. Many of our students will stay in the area after graduation, so these will be their contacts for assisted technology equipment. This event provides an opportunity for professional development that will benefit their careers long after graduation from Walsh.”