The International Society for Prosthetics and Orthotics (ISPO) was founded as a non-governmental organization (NGO) in 1970, in Copenhagen, Denmark. ISPO grew out of the International Committee of Prosthetics and Orthotics of the International Society for Rehabilitation of the Disabled, which later became Rehabilitation International. Knud Jansen, a well-respected orthopedic surgeon, chaired this Committee and was the principal driver behind the creation of ISPO. To honour its founding President, the Society initiated the Knud Jansen Lecture.
From the very beginning, the Society was seen to be multidisciplinary, with equal status for all members regardless of profession, gender, or race. The primary objective was to improve the rehabilitation of all people with physical disability requiring prosthetic, orthotic, or other technical aid.
ISPO took over the editorship and responsibility for Prosthetics and Orthotics International (POI) which was formerly the journal of the International Committee on Prosthetics and Orthotics of the International Society for Rehabilitation of the Disabled. POI remains the main international academic journal for prosthetics and orthotics.
The ISPO eUpdate (ISPO International's official newsletter) was then the ISPO Bulletin (check here the first ever ISPO Bulletin).
Founding members of ISPO. Standing left to right: Jǿrgen Kjǿlbye, Danemark; Colin A. McLaurin, Canada; and Anthony McQuirk, England. Sitting, left to right: D.S. McKenzie, England; Anthony Staros, United States; Knud Jansen, Danemark; George Murdoch, Scotland; and A. Bennett Wilson Jr., United States. Members not present - André Bähler, Switzerland, and Götz Kuhn, Germany.
Nine-year-old Ulla Andersen, who was stricken with polio at six months of age, affixing the seal of the Society to the official founding document.
From the early days, ISPO had relationships with organizations such as the United Nations (UN), the World Health Organization (WHO), and Rehabilitation International (RI). In the early 1980s, the Society started to develop links with other international societies, especially those involved in work in developing countries; such as, the Gesellschaft fuer Technische Zusammenarbeit (now Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit), International.