Some future physical and occupational therapists got a unique perspective today on the chosen careers from a special visitor to class. The message from Ms Wheelchair Pennsylvania 2018 wasn’t necessarily what students at St. Francis University are used to.
Barb Zablotney did speak in front of the class like their usual instructors, but her lesson plan was different.
“I think it’s important that these students get this perspective hands-on experience and learn from a point of view such as mine,” Barb said.
Back in 2007, she suffered a spinal cord injury in a traffic crash. She wasn’t wearing a seatbelt and was paralyzed on impact when the car hit a tree.
Barb said of the students, “I think they’re very interested by it because I think a lot of times people think someone in a wheelchair must be old. They don’t realize you can be young and in a wheelchair and you can still adapt and live your life in a wheelchair and live a fulfilling life at that.”
During her time at the university, she also helped the students with some hands-on training on navigating while in a wheelchair..
She received an outstanding grade for her efforts.
Dr. Nikki Imhoff, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy said, “I was just thrilled to have her here. She’s such an advocate for people with disabilities and any kind of mobility needs so having her come work with us was just awesome.”