In the classroom, individuals with physical disabilities may need assistance with their positions for seating so that they can participate effectively in school work. Generally, therapists try to achieve an upright, forward facing position by using padding, structured chairs, straps, supports, or restraints to hold the body in a stable and comfortable manner. Also considered is the student's position in relation to peers and the teacher. Often, it is necessary to design positioning systems for a variety of settings so that the student can participate in multiple activities at school. Examples of equipment used for positioning are side lying frames, walkers, crawling assists, floor sitters, chair inserts, wheelchairs, straps, trays, standing aids, bean bag chairs, sand bags and so forth.

 Ideas to Aid Seating and Positioning:

  •  Velcro tabs to keep positioning pads in place
  • Sand Bags
  • Bean Bag Chairs
  • Non-slip surface on chair to prevent slipping (e.g. Dycem)
  • Bolster, rolled towel, blocks for feet
  • Adapted/alternate chair, sidelyer, stander
  • Custom fitted wheelchair or insert

Assistive Technology for Mobility

  • Walker
  • Grab bars and rails
  • Manual wheelchair including sports chair
  • Powered mobility toys (such as electric cars and cycles)
  • Powered scooter or cart
  • Powered wheelchair w/ joystick or other control

Positioning Aids

It's important to think about furniture when we consider access to school activities.  A one-size-fits-all approach just doesn't work as students vary greatly in size--and are growing all the time.

  • A good "fit" and firmly supported feet help to stabilize the student, cutting down on fatigue.
  • Better support makes the student more comfortable. Uncomfortable furniture can distract a student's focus from work.
  • Good positioning can foster more participation by requiring less physical effort.

There are adjustable-height desks/tables for elementary classrooms that can provide appropriate positioning for all students.



Idea Cart (Anthro) This adjustable table changes height with the turn of a crank. It's ideal for classroom or lab use.   Cost: $169- $239

Tripp Trapp Chair (Therapro)  This chair's seat and footrest can be re-positioned. Both the seat and footrest adjust vertically and horizontally to comfortably accommodate children to adults. Hip belt, pads, pommel and tray also available/  Cost: $199.95

Footrests (Ergo Solutions, Ali-Med)
Footrests provide a secure base for a child--with feet flat and ankle and knee at 90 degrees. You can also use a stabilized box to achieve this position!  Cost: $45 - $55

Seat Cushions (Pocket Full of Therapy)  These products provide a variety of seating alternatives, all of which can be used safely and unobtrusively in a classroom or home setting.

Pallone Ball Chair
Sit 'N' Fit Disc
Move 'N' Sit Wedge Seat Cushion
Bumpy Junior Disc Seat Cushion
Classroom Chair Seat Cushion



We will be looking to add new free and low cost AT alternatives.  If you have a great idea you would like to share, please send it to the following:

AT Committee Site Manager

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