In line with its objective to ensure increased access to appropriate rehabilitation and mobility devices and services for people with disabilities, ISPO established a few years ago, the ISPO Open Board. The aim was to provide a forum for on-going networking between ISPO and other stakeholders in the rehabilitation field, allowing strategic dialogue of common challenges in the field of rehabilitation and assistive products (with an emphasis on mobility devices such as prostheses, orthoses and wheelchairs).
During the last Open Board meeting held at the ISPO 16th World Congress 2017 in Cape Town (South Africa), participating members agreed that while the group had not been used to its full potential, it remained an important body composed of many relevant organizations. Participants expressed willingness to increase the value of the Open Board. The ISPO Executive Board thus reviewed the Open Board Terms of Reference with a view to expand its membership and scope of activities.
As outlined in the revised ToR, the Open Board will especially develop strategies to:
ensure rehabilitation and mobility device services are available, accessible with equity, affordable and appropriate:
reinforce the dissemination and implementation of existing and future international standards (i.e. Standards for Prosthetics and Orthotics, Guidelines on the provision of manual wheelchairs, Standards for P&O Education, etc.);
further promote a multidisciplinary approach in the provision of rehabilitation and mobility device services;
reinforce the rehabilitation and mobility device services work force.
In addition, the ISPO Open Board will continue supporting:
the development of ISPO short courses to support the provision of appropriate rehabilitation and mobility device services;
ISPO efforts in ensuring the recognition of Prosthetic & Orthotic profession by the International Labour Organization (ILO)
the GATE Initiative, the WHO Rehabilitation 2030: Call for Action and the WHO Global Disability Action Plan 2014-2021
research promotion for strengthening the provision of appropriate rehabilitation and mobility device services;
The Open Board is holding its upcoming meeting in Leipzig during OT World to discuss joint projects more concretely.