ISPO Season’s Greetings 2023

28 December 2023

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Message from David Constantine, ISPO President

As we approach the end of 2023 I would like to thank everyone in the Society for their commitment and energy to the work of ISPO and the sector as a whole.

I took over as president from Claude Tardif in April this year and I would like to thank him for all the support he has given my presidency so far.

2023 felt like the first year we had been fully released from the restrictions of the pandemic. It was therefore great to see many familiar faces come back to the first live Congress in four years since Kobe in 2019. In April many of us met up face-to-face to prove, once again, the power of being in the same room and at the same event for a week. Guadalajara was an excellent location for the Congress, and we are grateful to the local organising committee for all their hard work in making it a success.

I started my biennium with a focus on increasing the membership and broadening the member base to really embrace the multidisciplinary approach of ISPO. The Membership committee is working hard on proposals for encouraging a stronger student base as they are the Society of tomorrow, widening the discipline types in the society to represent our multidisciplinary approach and making the society an attractive and exciting body to be part of.

ISPO continues its collaboration with key partners such as WHO. ISPO is recognised as a solid partner in the development and coordination of guidelines and standards with WHO. Following the ground-breaking ISPO consensus conference on wheelchairs, we were proud to launch the new WHO Wheelchair Guidelines in partnership with the International Society of Wheelchair Professionals at the World Congress. This is a key document, the first of its kind since the 2008 Wheelchair guidelines for low-income countries. Another important document launched at the World Congress, was the WHO Standards for Prosthetics and Orthotics Assessment Package which help countries assessing the extent to which they meet the standards.

Launched at the World Congress, two Special Interest Groups became a reality with the aim of bringing together professionals with a specific interest in the given subjects. The Special Interest Group for Upper Limb (SIGUL) strives to serve as a platform for all involved with persons with upper limb difference (including prosthetists, technicians, rehabilitation specialists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, surgeons, engineers, researchers and patients) for further collaboration, and to increase exchange of knowledge. The Special interest group for bone anchored limb (SIGBAL) will focus on persons with both upper and lower limb amputation who may be candidates for a bone-anchored limb. A bone anchored limb is an innovative method of attaching artificial limbs to the human body. Members will work together to provide optimal care for persons with limb amputation.

In 2023, ISPO continued to provide online and on-site training in the form of webinars and face-to-face courses and audited nine education programs worldwide.

In 2024 the society looks forward to launching the 2024-2030 strategic plan along with the continuation of the LEAD and Compass projects defining outcome measures and a core dataset for the lower limb prosthetics sector. We are currently working hard towards the next world Congress to be held in Stockholm in June 2025.

May I wish you a peaceful and happy end of year.

David Constantine
ISPO President