THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING TO VOLUNTEER FOR OUR PROGRAM 

On behalf of the Bridging Bionics Team, we thank you for your commitment and time dedicated to volunteer for our program. 

Bridging Bionics Foundation is a charitable non-profit organization based in a small community in the Roaring Fork Valley in Colorado, that offers physical therapy and personal training combined with advanced technologies such as whole-body vibration and exoskeleton suits for neurologically impaired individuals. The exoskeletons are intended to assist with augmenting ambulatory functions for individuals with neurological impairments such as spinal cord injury and stroke.  

  • Program Assistants:  Volunteers for our program are specially trained to assist our physical therapists and personal trainers to work with our clients. All program assistants are trained to assist with our advanced technologies including the Galileo whole body vibration systems and a range of bionic exoskeleton suits. 
  • Special Event Volunteers:  Bridging Bionics hosts several special events throughout a given year. As we are a charitable organization, we depend on our dedicated volunteers to make all of our events successful. Responsibilities include but are not limited to: event set-up, parking attendants, wait staff, registration crew, live auction spotters, break-down and clean-up crew.  

Please take a moment to read through the following important information. 

VOLUNTEER PAPERWORK

All volunteers must complete the following paperwork before being trained to work with clients and the equipment: 

Please download, print and complete. Please email your volunteer forms to Info@bridgingbionics.org. For program assistants, our scheduling manager will be in touch to schedule your first training session. Please bring the original copies with you to your first scheduled training session. 

CONTACT INFORMATION 

Main number: (970) 379-0721
Email: Info@bridgingbionics.org 

Our Mobility Program operates at the Snowmass Club in Snowmass Village, and Midland Fitness in Glenwood Springs five days per week typically from 9 am – 5 pm. Program assistant times vary according to physical therapist demand and a client’s special needs. 

Please show up early for your volunteer sessions to assist with set-up and greet clients. 

 

VOLUNTEER RESPONSIBILITIES 

Every effort will be made to email a schedule the week prior to your volunteer day. 

Our schedule can change last minute, and we will attempt to give you adequate notice in advance. 

  1. Please arrive 15 – 20 minutes early to prepare for the day 
  2. Morning set-up
  3. Open cupboard 
  4. Unlock equipment. Ensure all batteries are being charged for the day.
  5. Turn on Galileo Tilt Table 
  6. Take out basket of Galileo padding/pillows/etc. 
  7. Pull client files for the day according to the schedule – check with physical therapist 
  8. Begin setting up the equipment for the first client 
  9. Meet and greet clients (to help with communication while the PT writes notes or prepares for the next client) 
  10. Wipe down equipment thoroughly with antibacterial wipes after each client’s use 
  11. Prepare equipment for each new client upon instruction from physical therapist 
  12. Help clean up at the day’s end and help put everything away
  13. Turn off Galileo Tilt Table
  14. Lock cupboard
  15. Place stanchions to block general public from our designated space 

Thank you for your volunteer assistance and time. We value your contribution so much. 

The Bridging Bionics Team

DESCRIPTION OF THE EQUIPMENT  

The essential equipment, which is available for clients to use include (but is not limited to): 

  • A raised physical therapy platform mat for client evaluations and to make transferring from a wheelchair easier; 
  • A Galileo Neuromuscular Tilt Table 

Galileo’s side-alternating stimulation systems are a powerful whole-body tool that has shown great results providing functional neuromuscular training and recovery. In the last 10 years scientists have also shown that the brain and the spinal cord have the ability to learn and relearn after neural injury with highly repetitive activitybased interventions. 

Instead of activating the muscles voluntarily, the principle of Galileo is to evoke involuntary muscle contractions. This happens directly through using the afferent and efferent nervous system to induce thousands of reflexive muscle contractions – all in a matter of minutes. 

Clinical Treatment Advantages of the Galileo Tilt Table 

  • Reduction of spasticity and management 
  • Optimizes neuromuscular recovery and accelerates early rehabilitation
  • Engages afferent and efferent reflex-based muscle stimulation 
  • Recruits small & large antagonistic muscles in lying to standing position 
  • Improves muscle balance, function, power and force 
  • Provides 4,500 contractions in 3 minutes at 25Hz 

 

Spinal Cord Injury 

  • Reduction of spasticity and management 
  • Improvement of neuromuscular recovery and plasticity 
  • Improvement of balance muscle function, force and power
  • Improvement of blood flow 
  • Improvement of circulation and the lymphatic system 
  • Higher bone mass and osteoporosis prevention 
  • Back pain treatment and prevention 
  • Whole-body stimulation in a laying, sitting and standing position 

 

  • Galileo Mano  

The Galileo Mano dumbbell systems are used for the hands, arms shoulders to reduce spasticity or used to alleviate movement restrictions and circulatory disorders and improve motor function invigorate the muscles.  

For more information on the Galileo, please visit the website: https://stimdesigns.com. 

  • An EksoGTTM Bionic Exoskeleton Suit 

Ekso GT™ is a wearable bionic suit which enables individuals with any amount of lower extremity weakness to stand up and walk over ground with a natural, full weight bearing, reciprocal gait. Walking is achieved by the user’s weight shifts to activate sensors in the device, which initiate steps. Battery-powered motors drive the legs, replacing deficient neuromuscular function. 

  • Provides a means for people with as much as complete paralysis, and minimal forearm strength, to stand and walk 
  • Helps patients re-learn proper step patterns and weight shifts using a functional based platform 
  • Facilitates intensive step dosage over ground 

EksoGT is a gait training exoskeleton intended for medically supervised use by individuals with various levels of paralysis or hemiparesis due to neurological conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injury or disease, traumatic brain injury and more. With medical clearance, it typically facilitates walking for people with a broad range of motor abilities and sizes; which may include up to C7 complete, any level of incomplete SCI, and non-or pre-ambulatory individuals’ post-stroke. 

  • Accommodates an unprecedented spectrum of patients in motor ability 
  • Everyone medically cleared who has passed physical examination has walked in their first session 
  • Designed for utility and ease-of-use in a clinic setting 

For more information on EksoGT, please visit the Ekso Bionics website at: https://eksobionics.com. 

  • An Indego® Bionic Exoskeleton Suit
    Like the EksoGT, the Indego Therapy Kit enables clinicians to conduct over-ground and task-specific gait training. Indego offers features that set it apart as a tool for therapy for those with spinal cord injuries, including a lightweight modular design (just 26 lbs.), functionality (it’s versatility allows clients to wear their own shoes for training inside and outside on uneven surfaces), intuitive controls with a wireless operation, fast charging light weight batteries that allows continuous extended use, and a variable assist mode that offers clinicians innovative gait therapy options. Future advancements will enable our therapists to offer an even more efficient therapy regimen. Parker hopes that Indego will soon be FDA approved to ‘turn on’ its functional electrical stimulation capabilities, and by early 2018 they hope the device will be FDA approved for individuals with mobility impairments who have sustained a stroke.  

For more information on Indego, please visit the website at: https://indego.com   

HELPFUL INFORMATION FOR COMMUNICATING WITH INDIVIDUALS WITH DISABILITIES 

The Ten Commandments for Communicating with People with Disabilities 

  1. When talking with a person with a disability, speak directly to that person rather than through a companion or sign language interpreter. 
  2. When introduced to a person with a disability, it is appropriate to offer to shake hands.  People with limited hand use or who wear an artificial limb can usually shake hands.  (Shaking hands with the left hand is an acceptable greeting). 
  3. When meeting a person who is visually impaired, always identify yourself and others who may be with you.  When conversing in a group, remember to identify the person to whom you are speaking. 
  4. If you offer assistance, wait until the offer is accepted.  Then listen to or ask for instructions. 
  5. Treat adults as adults.  Address people who have disabilities by their first names only when extending the same familiarity to all others.  (Never patronize people who use wheelchairs by patting them on the head or shoulders). 
  6. Leaning on or hanging on to a person’s wheelchair is similar to leaning on or hanging on to a person and is generally considered annoying.  The chair is part of the personal body space of the person who uses it. 
  7. Listen attentively when you’re talking with a person who has difficulty speaking.  Be patient and wait for the person to finish, rather than correcting or speaking for the person.  If necessary, ask short questions that require short answers, a nod or shake of the head.  Never pretend to understand if you are having difficulty doing so.  Instead, repeat what you have understood and allow the person to respond. 
  8. When speaking with a person who uses a wheelchair or a person who uses crutches, place yourself at eye level in front of the person to facilitate the conversation. 
  9. To get the attention of a person who is deaf, tap the person on the shoulder or wave your hand.  Look directly at the person and speak clearly, slowly, and expressively to determine if the person can read lips.  For those who do lip read, be sensitive to their needs by placing yourself so that you face the light source. 
  10. Relax.  Don’t be embarrassed if you happen to use accepted, common expressions such as “See you later” or “Did you hear about that?” that seem to relate to a person’s disability.  Don’t be afraid to ask questions when you’re unsure of what to do. 

Source: National Center for Access Unlimited, 155 North Wacker Dr. Suite 315 Chicago, IL 60606 

 

Wheelchair Etiquette 

  1. The key concept? Focus on the person, not on his or her disability. 
  2. It is appropriate to shake hands with a person who has a disability, even if they have limited use of their hands or wear an artificial limb. 
  3. Always ask the person who uses a wheelchair if he or she would like assistance before you jump in to help. Your help may not be needed or wanted. 
  4. Don’t hang or lean on a person’s wheelchair. A wheelchair is part of his or her own personal or body space, so don’t lean on it, rock it, etc. 
  5. Speak directly to the person who uses the wheelchair, not to someone who is nearby as if the wheelchair user did not exist. 
  6. If your conversation lasts more than a few minutes, consider sitting down, etc. to get yourself on the same eye-level as the person who uses the wheelchair. It will keep both of you from getting a stiff neck! 
  7. Don’t demean or patronize the person who uses a wheelchair by patting him or her on the head. 
  8. When giving directions, think abut things like travel distance, location of curbcuts and ramps, weather conditions and physical obstacles that may hinder their travel. 
  9. Don’t discourage children from asking questions of a person who uses a wheelchair about their wheelchair. Open communication helps overcome fearful or misleading attitudes. 
  10. When a person who uses a wheelchair “transfers” out of the wheelchair to a chair, pew, car, toilet or bed, do not move the wheelchair out of reach. If you think it would be best to move it for some reason ask the person who uses the wheelchair about the best option for them. 
  11. It is OK to use expressions like “running along” or “let’s go for a walk” when speaking to person who uses a wheelchair. It is likely they express the idea of moving along in exactly the same way. 
  12. People who use wheelchairs have varying capabilities. Some person who use wheelchairs can walk with aid or for short distances. They use wheelchairs because they help them to conserve energy and to move about with greater efficiency. 
  13. Don’t classify or think of people who use wheelchairs as “sick.” Wheelchairs are used to help people adapt to or compensate for the mobility impairments that result from many non-contagious impairments. Some of these are, for example, spinal cord injury, stroke, amputation, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, post polio, heart disease, etc. 
  14. Check your assumptions! Don’t assume that using a wheelchair is a tragedy. Wheelchairs when they are sell fitted and well chosen are actually a means of freedom that allows the user to move about independently and fully engage in life. 
  15. Don’t pet guide dogs or other service animals…they are working. 

Source: https://www.wheelchairnet.org/wcn_townhall/docs/etiquette.html 

 

Person First Language 

People-first language is a form of linguistic prescriptivism in English, aiming to avoid perceived and subconscious dehumanization when discussing people with disabilities, as such forming an aspect of disability etiquette. 

The basic idea is to impose a sentence structure that names the person first and the condition second, for example “people with disabilities” rather than “disabled people”, in order to emphasize that “they are people first”. Because English syntax normally places adjectives before nouns, it becomes necessary to insert relative clauses, replacing, e.g., “asthmatic person” with “a person who has asthma.” Furthermore, the use of to beis deprecated in favor of using to have. 

The speaker is thus expected to internalize the idea of a disability as a secondary attribute, not a characteristic of a person’s identity. Critics of this rationale point out that separating the “person” from the “trait” implies that the trait is inherently bad or “less than”, and thus dehumanizes people with disabilities.
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People-first_language 

 

Person with a disability  Handicapped/Cripple 
Person with _CP, MS, Spina Bifida  Victim of 
Little person  Dwarf 
Person of short stature  Midget 
Person who is deaf  The Deaf/Stone Deaf 
Person who is hard of hearing  Deaf & Dumb 
Person who uses a wheelchair  Confined to a wheelchair 
Wheelchair user  Wheelchair bound 
Person with mental, cognitive or emotional disability  Mentally ill, Crazy, Mentally Disturbed 
Person with learning disability  Slow/Stupid/Retarded 
Person who is developmentally disabled  Retard/Stupid/Slow 
Person with Cerebral Palsy  Spastic 
Person who is blind  The Blind 

Join Our Mailing List for Updates!

By submitting this form, you are granting: Bridging Bionics Foundation, PO Box 3766, Basalt, Colorado, 81621, United States, www.bridgingbionics.org permission to email you. You may unsubscribe via the link found at the bottom of every email. (See our Email Privacy Policy for details.) Emails are serviced by Constant Contact. Email addresses will not be shared outside of Bridging Bionics Foundation.